One of Colombia's most prominent human rights activist, former Senator Piedad Cordoba, has officially registered her presidential candidacy. The Afro-Colombian lawyer said during her announcement: "We will be the surprise in this electoral contest. We will be the surprise because we're going to sweep away all the crap that exists in the country."
Representing the Citizen Power Movement, Cordoba explained that she selected March. 8, International Women's Day, to register her candidacy as a symbol of the importance of women in politics. "Colombia cannot squander the potential of the best-prepared generation of women in its history. We have to end the wage gap, guarantee women's access to positions of responsibility, end inequality, and aggression,” she said.
Accompanied by her vice-presidential pick, Jaime Araujo, Cordoba highlighted that they collected more than 835,000 signatures through voluntary work, “a much higher figure compared to some candidates with more partisan machines and much more money,” she said.
The deadline for presidential hopefuls to register their candidacy is March 9. The election is scheduled to take place on May 27.
Last year Cordoba announced that she would run for president via her Twitter account. In an interview with El Colombiano, she said tackling social inequality and fighting corruption will be her focus. “The majority of citizens no longer feel represented by the old politics that neither talks about their problems nor resolves them,” she noted. “It is time to team up with society. The election of 2018 will endorse a demand for change.”
A renowned figure in the country and region, Cordoba is a long-time peace activist who has worked with human rights organizations on sociopolitical issues. She has participated in peace negotiations between the former guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the government and has survived assassination attempts.