On Wednesday I spoke with Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba regarding the hostages currently held by the FARC guerillas in Colombia. Córdoba, an outspoken critic of Colombian President and close U.S.-ally Álvaro Uribe, had been working with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to negotiate a hostage-prisoner exchange with the FARC guerillas. But late last month, President Uribe put an end to the negotiations, angering family members of the hostages — which include three U.S. military contractors and former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. In our conversation, I asked Córdoba who she felt was to blame for the failure of the negotiations and what her reaction was to the news that the FARC were set to release three of the hostages as a goodwill gesture for her and Chavez’s efforts.
Her responses, and my account of the current state of the conflict in Colombia, can be found in this piece that I filed for Inter Press Service.