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  • The FARC leader was detained after the DEA accused him of agreeing to traffic cocaine to the United States.

    The FARC leader was detained after the DEA accused him of agreeing to traffic cocaine to the United States. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 May 2018

FARC leader Jesus Santrich was detained after the Drug Enforcement Administration accused him of agreeing to traffic cocaine to the United States.

Colombia's Attorney General Fernando Carrillo is mounting a legal challenge to the temporary suspension of detained FARC leader Jesus Santrich's extradition to the United States

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"We will take the required legal measures for this case because we believe that... suspending an extradition has no juridical validity," Carrillo said at the International Justice Forum and Fight Against Impunity in Cartagena.

He is now urging Congress to adopt a "procedural code" ruling the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), he said.

Last Thursday, the JEP – in charge of judging crimes committed during Colombia's armed conflict – decided to suspend the extradition of Santrich, a leader of the now-dsibanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Commons (FARC).

The process was suspended for 120 days, during which it will be determined if the former insurgent will be judged by Colombian justice, or be sent to the United States.

The leader was detained after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration accused Santrich of agreeing to export 10 tons of cocaine to the United States after the peace agreement was signed in November 2016.

Santrich has denied the charges and FARC members have criticized his detention, warning it threatens the peace accords.  

Last week, Santrich was transferred to a compound overseen by the Colombian Episcopacy for humanitarian reasons.

Several prominent figures, including human rights activist Senator Ivan Cepeda and Alvaro Leyva, had called on Santrich to end his hunger strike and "live to create more peace."

The head of the United Nation's Verification Mission in Colombia, Jean Arnault, visited Santrich in hospital and expressed serious concerns about his health.

Santrich responded by saying that "life is worth nothing if we don't leave at least a small print of dignity that endures."

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