Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice has rejected a habeas corpus request by Jesus Santrich, a leader of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who was detained after the United States filed a petition for his extradition of drug trafficking accusations Santrich denies.
“The Supreme Court of Justice has ratified the inadmissibility of the habeas corpus for Seuxis Paucias Hernandez Solarte, demobilized member of the FARC, known as ‘Jesus Santrich’ and detained for extradition purposes,” the high court said in a statement.
According to Colombia authorities, the Office of the Attorney General has the right to keep Santrich in detention until the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP for its Spanish acronym) decides if Santrich can benefit from the guarantee of no-extradition.
The JEP is a transitional justice mechanism created after the peace accords signed between the Colombian government and the FARC in 2016.
Santrich, leader of the political party Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (also known as FARC) was detained in April. The U.S. accuses him of being involved in drug trafficking after the peace accords were signed. Santrich, who denies this claim, has argued the U.S. is only looking to sabotage the Colombian peace process.
His detention and possible extradition, as well as the murder of 60 former FARC combatants and over 400 social and community leaders since the peace accords, were signed in Havana, cast doubt over the sustainability of Colombia’s peace process.
Before his detention, Santrich was going to be one of 10 FARC legislators, who had a seat guaranteed in Congress as part of the group’s transition into political-electoral life. His detention kept him from being sworn in.
Ivan Marquez, the chief negotiator of the peace accords, refused to take his seat in the Senate as a form of protest against the violation of the peace accords, arguing Santrich’s detention proves there are no judicial guarantees for the demobilized guerrillas.