Thursday, June 17, 2021

One of Colombia’s most prominent leftist leaders loses US visa

 

Colombian politician Piedad Cordoba denied visa by the United States

Colombian politician Piedad Cordoba denied visa by the United States

The United States has denied a visa renewal application from prominent Colombian politician Piedad Cordoba, she said Tuesday.

- Advertisement -

The former senator told Caracol Radio she tried to renew her US visa in order to attend meetings in Washington DC of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a branch of the Organization of American States.

Cordoba, 61, has long been a defender of minority rights and a major supporter of peace negotiations between the government and leftist FARC guerrillas.

In 2010, Colombia’s Inspector General removed her from the senate and banned her from public office for 18 years over accusations she had ties to the FARC, a designated guerrilla group. These accusations were never proven in court.

Cordoba told Caracol she wanted to use her trip to the Commission on Human Rights to, among other things, pursue her challenge to Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez’s action.

- Advertisement -

She has long championed reforms to benefit ethnic and political minorities, and women.

Another issue she has been pursuing is an effort to improve US prison conditions for Simon Trinidad, a FARC leader serving a 60-year solitary confinement sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado. The FARC has long sought his release from prison so he could participate in ongoing peace talks with the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos.

Cordoba said she was told her visa renewal application was denied because it did not include a formal written invitation from the Commission on Human Rights to attend Washington meetings.

A spokeswoman for the Commission said Tuesday she did not have enough information to comment on Cordoba’s situation. An attempt to reach Cordoba was unsuccessful.

US visa policy has come under criticism recently from both the political right and left. From the right, critics say there is not enough scrutiny of visa applicants to ensure no terrorists are given entry. From the left, critics say that activists are sometimes denied visas because of false allegations of ties to terrorist groups.

In 2010, the US denied a visa to Colombian journalist Hollman Morris, who needed it in order to accept a year-long Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University. Morris was also a strong critic of a US-backed military offensive targeting guerrillas.

- Advertisement -

US officials said at the time his visa was denied because of his alleged involvement with terrorist groups, but later revoked the decision to deny the visa.

Article first appeared at Colombia Reports. Click here to go there!

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Rico
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of onlinemagazines that includes TodayColombia.com. Rico brings his special kind of savvy to online marketing. His websites are engaging, provocative, informative and sometimes off the wall, where you either like or you leave it. The same goes for him, like him or leave him.There is no middle ground. No compromises, only a passion to present reality as he sees it!

Related Articles

Why electric cars will take over sooner than you think

Q REPORTS (BBC) I know, you probably haven't even driven one...

Is it all Greek to you? Coronavirus variants get new names

(REUTERS) Coronavirus variants with clunky, alphanumeric names have now been assigned...
- paying the bills -

MOST READ

- paying the bills -

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!