It seems to be a ‘smoke screen’ because the Uribe government is in trouble again, but it is excellent news: Colombia’s senator Piedad Córdoba has been authorized to negotiate with the left wing guerrilla FARC about the liberation of the remaining hostages.
Ms. Córdoba negotiated with the FARC about the liberation of several other hostages. The guerrilla announced the liberation of the soldier Pablo Emilio Moncayo who has been a hostage for 11 years, but then Colombia’s president Álvaro Uribe said that she no longer could be involved in the liberation of hostages. Everything came to a stop, to the despair of Moncayo’s father Gustavo, who has been marching through great parts of the country to draw the attention to his son’s (and the others’) cruel fate.
The reason mr. Uribe prohibited ms. Córdoba to help release the hostages was that she and the FARC would get too much positive publicity. There doesn’t seem to be an official reason now why mr. Uribe changed his mind.
The opposition now says it is a smoke screen to distract public opinion’s attention from a new scandal in Colombian politics. That is that the presidency is being accused of having rewarded senators who voted in favour of mr. Uribe’s reelection in 2006.
In the end it is not important of that is true. The most important thing is that at last the twenty something soldiers and policemen who ar still suffering in the Colombian jungle be released.
And if the smoke screen story is true, it is a nice coincidence that mr. Uribe feels obliged to give in to something he hates: give political opponents like Piedad Córdoba the opportunity of positive exposure.