HomeNewsBriefSantos: No US Extradition for FARC
BRIEF

Santos: No US Extradition for FARC

EXTRADITION / 2 MAR 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has said he will seek to prevent US extradition for leaders of guerrilla group the FARC, in a move that will stoke the country's vociferous opposition, but which the United States might be open to. 

"No one is going to turn in their weapons to go die in a North American prison. That's completely unrealistic," Santos said in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais. Colombia's President will personally work with the United States to find a solution, he added. 

When questioned as to how guerrilla leaders might be punished within Colombia, Santos was less direct, stating the difficulty of drawing a line between justice and peace, and adding that the former should not impede the latter. Santos left open the possibility of house arrest instead of prison for guerrilla leaders, calling it "something that we could bring ourselves to agreement on."   

InSight Crime Analysis

The Santos administration has officially been in peace negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's largest left-wing guerrilla group, for more than two years. How rebel leaders should be held accountable for alleged acts of terrorism and drug trafficking committed during more than 50 years of conflict has been a major issue overshadowing the talks. Complicating the matter are standing extradition orders for multiple FARC leaders, primarily related to drug trafficking, as well as several leaders already imprisoned in the United States.

While US officials have yet to speak on Santos' comments, it is plausible they would consider flexibility on these extradition orders. Not only does Colombia represent a key regional ally and major recipient of US aid and investment, but the United States has already shown signs of softening its approach to the guerrillas. US Special Envoy Bernard Aronson reportedly met with members of the FARC delegation on both February 28 and March 1, with few details yet emerging from the behind-closed-doors meeting in Cuba.     

SEE ALSO: Colombia News and Profiles

However, while the US may be willing to work with Santos, he still faces opposition at home from the vocal ultra-conservative opposition led by former-President Alvaro Uribe, who recently visited the United States in an apparent attempt to whip up opposition to the talks among US lawmakers.

As part of Colombia's proposed peace process, any deal agreed between the FARC and the government must also be voted on by the Colombian people, making the public relations battle extremely important and US input potentially influential.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 13 APR 2011

A series of WikiLeaks cables paints a grim picture of Panama’s capacity to respond to the increasingly aggressive FARC rebels,…

EX-FARC MAFIA / 14 JAN 2017

At the end of every year, InSight Crime looks into the crystal ball and predicts what the big criminal risks…

COLOMBIA / 30 APR 2018

Following the explosive revelation of US drug charges against a guerrilla fighter turned politician in Colombia, another former rebel is…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…