Alvaro Cordoba, brother of controversial Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba, pleads guilty to drug trafficking in the US. Cordoba, who was arrested nearly two years ago, faces drug trafficking charges with links to the dissidents of the now-defunct FARC. He was extradited from Colombia because he was initially charged with drug trafficking, firearms and conspiracy.
The defendant admitted his participation in the cocaine shipment to New York before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The defendant has not committed to cooperate with the judicial authorities. It is expected that the final sentence, which will be a conviction, and the years of imprisonment he will have to face in the United States, will be announced in April. Alvaro Cordoba’s admission of guilt is a blow to his sister, a veteran leftist politician, who has been repeatedly accused of links to illegal armed groups, but has not been convicted in court.
Blow to the pro-government senator Piedad Cordoba
In addition to her own accusations, the senator had to add formal accusations against her brother Alvaro, who ended up being arrested in February 2022 in Medellin, on account of the file he had before the federal court of the Southern District of New York. At that time, he was accused of trafficking cocaine through the Pacific in complicity with FARC dissidents, specifically the group led by Gentil Duarte. In January 2023, President Gustavo Petro signed the resolution authorizing his extradition to the US.
Shortly thereafter, the US justice system declined to pursue the arms trafficking charges, but focused on the drug trafficking charge, a guilt that Alvaro Cordoba acknowledged today. “I knew the cocaine would end up in the United States and I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Cordoba told the judge.
A year ago, Cordoba accused the Colombian president, who belongs to the same political group as his sister, of succumbing to pressure, going so far as to accuse the president of betraying his sister, a veteran of the Colombian left.
“President Petro overrides motives of political and legal expediency. The facts of which I am accused are under investigation and happened in Colombia, which implies that judicial sovereignty prevents in these cases the extradition of a national,” he said in January 2023 in a conversation with Blu Radio.
Piedad Cordoba’s uncertain political future
The once fierce politician Piedad Cordoba is going through her hardest moments and faces an uncertain political future. For years she was a referent of the most leftist and confrontational postulates with the conservative governments of Colombia, but today she is living the moments of greatest political loneliness.
Few are those who remain at the side of the woman who not even two years ago declared herself a future candidate for the presidency of the country. Accused of maintaining links with the former FARC, she was also linked to the businessman Alex Saab, the accused front man of the Venezuelan president who was recently released, thanks to a prisoner exchange. The politician has survived accusations time and time again and has continued to walk a thorny legal terrain.
So far, the worst accusation against her came from a former advisor to the senator, Andres Vasquez Moreno, who claimed that his former boss belonged to the FARC, the illegal organization in which she was known as alias Teodora.
For the umpteenth time, the political future of Piedad Cordoba, 67 years old, is in question, surely at a time when her own political allies of the pro-government Historic Pact see in her an uncomfortable political asset, with a long past and a compromised future.