The two officials were the targets of an assassination plot in May, the unidentified source told the newspaper from his refuge in Venezuela, where he is in hiding for security purposes.
According to the source, the attack was scheduled to take place in the city center of Nieva, located in the heart of the southwestern province of Huila. The plan involved two men and a women, including the witness. One of the assailants was supposed to throw a grenade to create a diversion.
The witness identified a retired army sargent, Hernando Medina Comacho, who reportedly approached the trio with an offer of more than $500,000 to carry out the hit.
Before the set date, the witness warned Cordoba and Petro of the conspiracy for unknown reasons. This is not the first assasination attempt against both Cordoba and Petro, who have recieved various threats throughout their tenure in politics.
Cordoba in particular told Colombian media on May 9 that she was the target of a separate murder plot. The conspiracy was allegedly hatched by a group of residents of Turmeque, a town in northern Colombia, responsible for the deaths of “hundreds of human rights defenders,” according to Cordoba.
Cordoba first gained notoriety as a left-wing public official by criticizing Uribe and his links to paramilitaries, labelling him a “paramilitary president” and urging neighboring Latin American countries to break diplomatic ties with his administration. She has also been also a prominent player in various FARC hostage release operations, acting as a mediator through her NGO, Colombians For Peace.
Like Cordoba, Gustavo Petro has become widely recognized as an unofficial voice of the Colombian democratic left and has also been issued death threats. During his tenure as a senator he told the Associated Press about a similar situation where he was the center off an assassination plot but tipped off before it was carried out.
Petro’s private secretary, Jorge Rojas, confirmed Sunday the mayor’s security has been heightened after learning of the plot.