Polemic former Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba has been included in the last of five victim representation groups taking part in peace talks between the government and FARC rebels, local media reported on Monday.
The former Liberal Party senator has long defended the rights of Colombia’s black minority and was briefly kidnapped by paramilitary group AUC in 1999 after a high government intelligence official convinced then-AUC leader Carlos Castaño that Cordoba had ties to the ELN with who the Senator was having talks about a possible peace treaty.
Cordoba was a member of the left wing of the Liberals for almost three decades before she was removed from the Senate over accusations she had overstepped legal boundaries in her contacts with rebel group FARC while negotiating the release of hostages held by the guerrillas.
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The former senator is one of twelve conflict victims who are set to meet with the delegates of the FARC and the government on Tuesday.
The group, whose names had not been officially released on Monday morning, consists of four victims of now-defunct state-aligned paramilitary group AUC, three victims of the FARC, two of crimes committed by state officials together with the AUC, one of the ELN, and one victim of neo-paramilitary forces that surged after the official dismantling of the AUC, reported newspaper El Tiempo.
Cordoba and the eleven other victims are the last of 60 victims to take part in the talks.
The negotiators have concluded chapters as political participation, rural reform and drug trafficking, and are currently talking about the responsibility of both the state and the FARC in the victimization of at least 7 million Colombians, or 13% of the country’s population.
Critics of the peace talks, led by former President Alvaro Uribe, took to the streets on Saturday in several Colombian cities to demand “peace without impunity” as they fear that negotiations with the rebels will lead to an exchange of impunity between the state and the FARC, both among the conflict’s most prolific victimizers.
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Colombia’s peace talks have been ongoing since November 2012 and seek to find a negotiated solution to 50 years of armed conflict between the FARC and the state.