Piedad Cordoba, the senator of Colombia’s ‘Historic Pact’, died of a heart attack in Medellin, Janury 20, five days shy of her 69th birthday. Cordoba was a renowned politician of the Colombian left, since her days as a member of the Liberal Party and, more recently, as a prominent militant of President Gustavo Petro’s coalition.
A few days ago, it became known that her brother, imprisoned in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges, had admitted his guilt and is awaiting sentencing, after having been extradited by order of the Colombian president. The senator had been in poor health for some time, but her sudden death has caused surprise in the political class of the country. In the afternoon she suffered a heart attack and when she arrived at the Conquistadores Clinic, in her native Medellin, she showed no vital signs.
Shock on the Colombian left
Although in life she was a very controversial person, even among some of her political co-religionists, due to her alleged links with the extinct FARC-EP, and the repercussions of accusations of corruption, her disappearance has caused shock in the national left, where Cordoba was an leading figure.
The country’s president, Gustavo Petro, echoed the news on his social networks. “Piedad Cordoba was a woman beaten by an era and a society. She fought all her mature life for a more democratic society. Her body and mind did not resist the pressure of an anachronistic society that applauded the adjustments of young people, that hated dialogue and peace, that hated blacks, indigenous people and the poor, that treated her as a criminal”, wrote the president shortly after the news broke.
Petro also added that “a fascist prosecutor expelled her from the Senate and mocked her constituents, I wanted to repair the damage and helped to make her part of the list of the Historic Pact, I felt she deserved it. As a congresswoman I met her and as a senator she died”, said the head of state in reference to her expulsion thirteen years ago from Congress by the judiciary.
“A true liberal has died”, sentenced Gustavo Petro, in reference to the political origins of the deceased senator.
Legal and health problems
The senator, who was under investigation by the Supreme Court of Justice for several acts of corruption, had had several health problems that had prevented her from taking office as a congresswoman in 2022, and the president of the Senate, former senator Roy Barreras, took her oath in the clinic.
“It is with extreme sorrow that I receive the news of the death of my colleague and friend, Senator Piedad Cordoba. Her life of struggle and tenacity will always be remembered by those of us who saw her bet everything on peace even though it meant a terrible political persecution”, said the former president of the Senate, Alexander Lopez.
Currently in the Supreme Court of Justice several judicial processes were advancing against the former congresswoman, who during the presidential campaign was removed from the Historic Pact, due to her visits to the extraditable ward to allegedly offer non-extradition pacts. She was also being prosecuted for alleged illicit enrichment, directly linked to Colombian businessman Alex Saab, alleged to be Nicolas Maduro’s front man.