Attack on security detail of former senator Piedad Córdoba

Armed assailiants opened fire yesterday on the security detail of a high-profile former senator who has received threats throughout her political career. The armoured vehicle was being driven in south Bogota by one of the bodyguards provided to Piedad Córdoba as a security measure when it was struck. Reports said one of the assailants had been arrested, with one other perpetrator believed to have been involved.

As a senator between 2006 and 2010, Córdoba was an outspoken critic of the right-wing government of Álvaro Uribe over its hardline approach to the FARC insurgency and the widespread human rights violations committed by security forces against civilians. In 1999, she was kidnapped by the AUC paramilitary organisation and held hostage for several weeks. In 2009, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting peace and human rights in Colombia.

The attack on Córdoba’s security detail comes as other high-profile political figures have also been targeted. Senator Iván Cepeda received threats recently after Uribe was submitted to house detention after the former president allegedly sought to manipulate witnesses in attempts to inciminate Cepeda. In 2019, the Bogota offices of the FARC party, Patriotic Union and the Communist Party were attacked.

Colombia has a history of violence towards opposition politicians, particularly those on the political left. In response to the latest incident, Córdoba’s son Juan Luis Castro tweeted ‘In my family, we’ve been through enough attackes, the method is always the same: setups, threats, testing security details and finally they do something to put our lives at risk.’