New York court gives FARC ‘jailor’ 27 years

A New York court sentenced the FARC guerrilla responsible for incarcerating Colombian-French hostage Ingrid Betancourt, along with three American contractors to 27 years prison on charges of drug-trafficking.

Gerardo Aguilar Ramirez, alias “Cesar,” leader of the FARC’s 1st Front, was sentenced on Thursday in New York by U.S District Judge Thomas Hogan.

The commander was extradited to the U.S. last year on the condition that he be judged solely on drug charges.

The insurgent was originally arrested by Colombian authorities along with Alexander Farfan, alias “Gafas” during “Operation Checkmate,” which oversaw the rescue of Betancourt, along with Americans Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stanstell and eleven Colombian military and police officers from a jungle camp in Caqueta, Southeast Colombia.

The commander was extradited in July 2009 after confessing to the production and distribution of tons of cocaine being sent to the United States.

According to testimonies from former american hostages held by the guerrilla group, “Gafas” and “Caesar” were in charge guarding the rebel group’s captives throughout a five year period.

“The imprisonment of Alguilar Ramirez helps fight drug-trafficking worldwide,” said Attorney General for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bhar.

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