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  • Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Common (FARC) Political party flags are seen during a protest in support of the release of former FARC leader Jesus Santrich, in Bogota, Colombia May 15, 2019

    Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Common (FARC) Political party flags are seen during a protest in support of the release of former FARC leader Jesus Santrich, in Bogota, Colombia May 15, 2019

Published 17 May 2019

Despite being granted freedom Wednesday by a special tribunal in Colombia, FARC politician has not been allowed to leave prison where he was injured. 

Despite Colombia's Special Jurisdiction for Peace, JEP, ordering the Office of the Attorney General to immediately release Seuxis Paucias Hernandez, better known as 'Jesus Santrich' Wednesday, the former leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) remains imprisoned in La Picota prison. 

Santrich released a handwritten note to the media Friday morning making four points, the first that the JEP ordered his release at 9:45am Wednesday morning but that as of 11:00am Friday he had not been released from jail. The former FARC commanders says the prison director is is "refusing to address his lawyers or give an explanation" as to why he is still imprisoned. 

Protesters outside the facility tell teleSUR if Santrich, who has been elected to Congress, is not released by the end of Friday, that this indicates a 'golpe del estado' by the Ivan Duque administration. 

RELATED: 

Colombia: Special Tribunal JEP Rejects Extradition of FARC Leader Jesus Santrich, Orders His Release

Deputy Prosecutor Fabio Espitia signed for his release upon the JEP ruling, yet the former guerrilla commander and current FARC (Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Common) party politician, has not been allowed to leave. Santrich's lawyer, Gustavo Gallardo, filed a writ of habeas corpus, a process that must be legally resolved within 36 hours, to secure the defendant's freedom.

Santrich adds in his letter that authorities inside the prison are keeping him in solitary confinement and have not allowed him the "medical exams" he has asked for.

According to informacion from people inside la Picota medics haven't been allowed to examine ex-guerrilla that is supposedly badly injured.

At the same time the note was released, Colombian politican analyst Amauri Chamorro tweeted that "according to informacion from people inside la Picota medics haven't been allowed to examine ex-guerrilla that is supposedly badly injured." 

Simultaneously, former right-wing president Alvaro Uribe unofficially announced Santrich would be extradicted to the U.S., a fact that current president, Ivan Duque, did not confirm in a 12:15pm press conference. Addressing the public, Duque simply stated that his administration had "zero tolerance in regard to any violations of human rights."  

teleSUR correspondent in Colombia, Tatiana Portela, reported Thursday that despite the JEP order to allow Santrich leave the prison facility his lawyers report that the director of the prison has refused his ability to exit.

Santrich was captured on April 9, 2018, in Bogota after a New York court issued a warrant for his extradition to the United States.  Authorities there accused the politician and signator of the 2016 Colombian Peace Accords between the FARC and the government, of drug-trafficking connected to the Sinaloa cartel.

RELATED: 

Colombia: FARC Demands Santrich's Release Citing Lack of Evidence

After several attempts by his defense team to have him released over the past year citing lack of evidence, Santrich was granted freedom May 15. Last September, Nestor Martinez, a Colombian prosecutor admitted before the JEP that he didn't have proof of Santrich’s alleged participation drug trafficking, but that U.S. authorities did.

The United States has appealed Colombia's decision to free Santrich, saying in a statement: ​​​​​"We consider this decision regrettable, since the United States complied with the extradition requirements established with Colombia," said a U.S. government spokesperson. 

Investigations involving two undercover U.S. agents indicated that the former guerrilla commander had allegedly participated in sending 10 tons of cocaine to the United States after he had pledged to not participate in any illicit acts after signing the peace agreement.

Amidst the case, Justice Minister of Colombia Gloria Maria Borrero and Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez resigned. President Ivan Duque has since appointed  Supreme Court of Justice Judge Margarita Cabello Blanco to replace Borrero.

Colombia’s attorney general said Wednesday he resigned in protest JEP's decision.

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