Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba, ally of Hugo Chavez

Material compiled by our regional editor for South America, Cristiano de Sa Fagundes

To negotiate the fate of the FARC hostages - including French-Colombian citizen Ingrid Betancourt -Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez relied on the contacts of Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba. The Chavez-Cordoba relationship and their intervention in the hostage case sparked heated online discussions in the two countries. And Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's decision to put an end to the negotiations has only fuelled the debate.