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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Black, Proud, and Beautiful Colombian Activist

During my last trip to Colombia, I would have loved to have met, or at least, kissed the hand of Colombia's most prominent, political figures Piedad Esneda Córdoba Ruiz in a formal greeting, and chatted in a coffee shop; such wishful thinking! This gorgeous woman has a busy life filled with community and political and goals and some serious drama.

During my early research years of the Afro-Latino experience, I was pleased to learn that Colombia had a black female senator, but was also appalled to learn that she was caught up in all the kidnappings that were prevalent in Colombia during those years.
After several weeks she was freed and exiled with her family in Canada. Then after a little more than one year in exile,, she started receiving reports that Colombian security had improved. She, therefore,returned to resume her political duties. She has since been victim of two assassination attempts.

As senator, Pieadad Cordoba has been a strong legislative advocate against discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation.

This outspoken liberal, who served four terms as a Colombian senator, was born January 25, 1955, in Medellín, Colombia to an Afro-Colombian father and a white Colombian mother. She is better known by her nom de guerre Teodora de Bolívar or Gaitán. Cordoba has a labor law degree from a major university in Medellín, and a degree in Public Opinion and Political Marketing at a major university in Bogotá, the nation's capital.

As senator, Pieadad Cordoba has been a strong legislative advocate against discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. Córdoba evolved into one of the most notorious figures of the Latin American feminist movement in Colombia. Through congress Córdoba gained national notoriety for taking controversial radical and radical positions, as she promoted debates focused on minorities and communitarian mothers groups, as well as the resolution of the Colombian armed conflict through peaceful negotiations.

She was finally elected to the Senate for the 1994-1998 period receiving most of her votes from the Departments of Antioquia and Chocó, a predominately black province in Colombia.

Cordoba began her political carrier in Medellín working as a community leader in many neighborhoods before being appointed to her first public office job, working as a municipal sub-controller. Then successfully ran for Deputy to the Antioquia Assembly, and finally elected to the Senate for the 1994-1998 period receiving most of her votes from the Departments of Antioquia and Chocó, a predominately black province in Colombia. As part of two separate and distinct investigations, she was striped from her seat in Congress in 2005 and again in 2006.However, not only did she regain her seat in the Colombian Congress, she continued to be re-elected.