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  • FARC leaders Carlos Lozada and Pablo Catatumbo arrive at the Attorney General's Office on Sunday in order to visit Jesus Santrich

    FARC leaders Carlos Lozada and Pablo Catatumbo arrive at the Attorney General's Office on Sunday in order to visit Jesus Santrich | Photo: EFE

Published 17 April 2018
Opinion

Santrich was arrested at the request of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) via the United States Embassy in Colombia, accusing him of drug trafficking.

Colombia's Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez formally ratified Monday the arrest for extradition purposes of Seusis Hernandez, known as Jesus Santrich, after receiving the documents sent by a U.S. federal court.

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Martinez added that to this date there was no further evidence of other former FARC member being involved in drug-trafficking.

“We are demonstrating to Colombian society and the international community that the peace accord did not mean impunity in regards with drug-trafficking,” he said in an interview with Radio Caracol.

Santrich, now a Congress member-elect representing the recently formed political party of FARC -Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons, was a leader in the now disarmed FARC guerrilla movement who played a critical role in the 2016 peace process with the Colombian government.

A U.S. federal judge had written to the Colombian attorney general on April 4 making the request for the arrest of Santrich and asked that Colombian authorities seize and make available all his electronic and computer storage systems, bank accounting and money transfer information, and any firearms associated with the accused. The United States has now 60 days to ratify the extradition request.

Meanwhile, Santrich's lawyer Gustavo Gallardo told El Tiempo that his case will have to be reviewed first by the Special Peace Jurisdictions set up by the peace accord. He insisted that no evidence had been revealed against his client, still one week after his arrest.

The accord offers disarmed FARC members sanctuary to not be indicted for crimes committed before the 2016 signing, however, those committed after are subject to a full judicial process.

A request is also pending at the Colombian Supreme Court in attempt to reverse a prior court sentence denying Santrich the habeas corpus right to be released from prison.

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