Posted by Toni Peters on Mar 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Court authorizes extradition of Venezuelan ‘drug lord’

Colombia news - Walid Makled

The Supreme Court Friday authorized the extradition of an alleged Venezuelan drug trafficker but is leaving the decision of whether to send him to his home country or the United States up to President Juan Manuel Santos.

Walid Makled alias ‘El Arabe’ is wanted by Venezuela as he is accused of attacking the government of President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution but also by the U.S.; he was placed on a list of significant narcotics traffickers under the Kingpin Act in 2009 by the U.S. Treasury Department.

According to Chavez, “the Empire [the U.S.] is trying to get Makled extradited to the US. Washington wants to use this to invent all sorts of accusations about the Bolivarian Revolution, against its political and military leadership, thus including Venezuela on a blacklist of countries that support narco-trafficking.”

The Supreme Court approved the extradition upon finding that all identity requirements were met. This case may become a contentious issue for President Santos because he must decide whether to grant the extradition to the North American superpower or to its Latin American neighbor. Colombia has a history of extraditing criminals to the US but President Santos enjoys a cordial relationship with President Chavez