Afro-Colombian former senator Piedad Cordoba announced Monday she removed her candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections over family reasons.
During a public event in Bogota, Cordoba said that her mother had just been hospitalized, adding that the decision did not mean that she was retiring from her political career.
The candidate for the vice-presidency, Jaime Araujo, denounced how Cordoba faced “discrimination” during the electoral campaign for being a woman, for being Afro-descendent, and for defending leftist ideas. For instance, he criticized the fact that Cordoba was never invited to the televised debates.
The Afro-Colombian politician, lawyer and long-time peace activist is a renowned figure in the country and works with human rights associations in the South American nation and throughout the region.
It's been seven years since she was dismissed as a senator by the Attorney General's Office, for alleged "collaboration with the FARC." Despite this, the former senator was a key figure in the peace talks and a historic deal reached last year by the FARC guerrilla and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.
Cordoba has also suffered repeated assassination attempts, death threats, and other harassment.
Jose Nieto Gil became Colombia's first and only Afro-descendent president at the end of the 19th century, and yet never mentioned in history books up to now.