Colombia: former Farc chief recaptured at the prison gate

A leader of the former FARC guerilla, Jesus Santrich, was arrested in Colombia on Friday at the very door of the prison, following pressure from the United States to try him for cocaine trafficking and opposed at his release.
He was hospitalized Saturday in Bogota to treat wounds he had inflicted on his arms in prison and is in a “stable” state, said Saturday the University Hospital Mayor Mederi in a statement.

“Santrich has just been recaptured at the door” of La Picota, protested on Twitter the party Farc, founded by the former Marxist rebellion after the peace agreement of 2016, whose former rebel commander was the one of the negotiators.

Sitting in a wheelchair, 52-year-old Jesus Santrich, who was visually impaired, was surrounded by Public Prosecutors when he had just crossed the gate of this prison in southern Bogota.

The air was shot down, he was brought back into the penitentiary, then transported to a police helicopter, whose destination was not specified by the authorities.

A source close to Santrich then told AFP that he had been taken to the prosecutor’s office in Bogotá.

The Attorney General’s Office stated in a statement that it had “implemented” a detention order for the drug trafficking investigation, which Sousis Paucis Hernandez Solarte, aka Jesus Santrich, is doing in the United States, and which led to his detention in April 2018.

Farc denounces the “hate”

“They are constantly stabbing the peace, with hate they reduce the agreement to crumbs,” denounced the leader of the Revolutionary Common Alternative Force (Farc) party, Rodrigo Londoño, on Twitter.

The Special Jurisdiction of Peace (JEP), resulting from the agreement with the former guerrilla and responsible for judging the most serious crimes of the armed conflict, ordered Wednesday the release of Jesus Santrich.

She had argued that she had not received evidence from the US authorities of her involvement in cocaine trafficking to the United States after the signing of the agreement with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), turned into a political party under the same acronym.

But the next day, the US Embassy in Bogota called on the Colombian authorities to “urgently appeal” against this decision.

“No decision” changes “the fact that a grand jury” in New York has accused Santrich of “alleged conspiracy to send 10 tons of cocaine to the United States between June 2017 and April 2018,” said Thursday the diplomatic representation in a statement.

Jesus Santrich, who has always claimed his innocence and denounces a conspiracy by Washington and the Colombian prosecutor’s office, has carried out two hunger strikes during his detention.

Earlier Friday, the prison administration announced that Jesus Santrich had “slightly” injured his arms while he was waiting for his release.

Dressings were visible on his wrists when he was brought to the prison gate, before being taken back inside La Picota.

The president for extradition

After the JEP decision, Colombia’s public prosecutor, Nestor Humberto Martinez, resigned on Wednesday and right-wing President Ivan Duque, elected on the promise to change the peace agreement, said he was “indignant”.

Mr. Duque had supported the intention to appeal, saying he was willing to authorize the extradition of Santrich.

Friday, the Colombian president supported the new arrest of Santrich, without mentioning the possible extradition of the former guerrilla.

“Those who reluctantly engage in criminal activity must bear the full weight of the law,” said Duque in a speech.

Pablo Catatumbo, another former guerrilla commander, now Senator Farc, protested against the re-arrest. “After being released, @JSantrich-FARC was recaptured at the exit of La Picota. Unreleased! We call on international organizations to ensure the implementation of the agreements, “he tweeted .

The historic peace agreement, signed with the oldest guerrillas on the American continent and hailed by the international community, has allowed the disarmament of about 7,000 rebels and put an end to more than half a century of armed confrontation between the rebels and the rebels. the Colombian state.

It provides that the perpetrators of serious crimes, guerrillas and members of the police, can benefit from alternative sentences to prison provided they tell the truth, compensate the victims and commit to never again resort to violence.

But it does not protect from an extradition those who have recidivated after its entry into force.

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