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News > Colombia

Colombia's AG Says FARC Leader Case Being 'Blown Out of Proportion'

  • Protesters with sign reading

    Protesters with sign reading "Freedom for Santrich" and "Media for Peace Not War" as they await news on Santrich's health. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 May 2019

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace has a mandate on former FARC guerillas, but the attorney general doesn't believe this is one of those cases.

Colombia’s Attorney General appeared Saturday before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) to argue its appeal against a JEP’s review board’s ruling on May 15 which released Jesus Santrich and guaranteed the former FARC leader protection from extradition.


Colombia's Supreme Court to Weigh on Case of FARC Leader

The Public Ministry announced its intention to appeal the ruling in the case of Seuxis Paucias Hernández Solarte, or Jesus Santrich, as soon as it was carried out, on grounds that the jurisdiction for such a guarantee belongs to the Supreme Court. The office is also arguing that the crime for which the extradition was requested and for which Santrich was arrested, was committed after Dec. 1, 2016, the day the Colombian government considers the start of the peace accords.

The Attorney General of Colombia Fernando Carrillo then gave a press conference before the JEP in Bogota in which he outlined the office’s reasons for the appeal. In his speech, he claims that the “Attorney General’s office hasn’t and wouldn’t ever hope for the JEP to fail, and that “the peace process is worth more than just an individual case.”

The top attorney also said that the guarantee of protection from extradition is not a “fundamental right” but rather “a parole benefit” and that people shouldn’t “blow it out of proportion.”

The Colombian government arrested a leader of the Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons (FARC) in April 2018 at the request of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration who accused him of narcotics trafficking. He had a tumultuous time in prison with the courts denying him his right to habeas corpus three times, essentially holding him in detention for almost a year without proving any charges.

During that year, Santrich went on hunger strike for 41 days and was injured several times. The JEP issued an order on May 15 to release Santrich but he was immediately rearrested at the prison gates by Colombia’s ESMAD forces on new charges.

Referring to the illegal nature of Santrich's detention FARC has issued several statements asserting that the peace accord, as well as the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, have been the “subject of multiple attacks meant to undermine their character, limit their scope and ignore their capacities” by the Colombian government.

In addition, former FARC members all over Colombia, are being killed at alarming rates despite having laid down their arms in search of peace,

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