Colombia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that a Colombian arrested in China on drug charges has had his death sentence commuted and will soon be coming home.
The ministry said that Harold Carillo is the first Colombian convicted on drug charges in China to be repatriated on humanitarian grounds. It said China reduced his sentence to 20 years after he was diagnosed with cancer, a move allowing him to be freed early.
Local media reports said Carillo was arrested in 2010 trying to enter China with 3 kilograms of cocaine.
The decision follows the sensation in Colombia over last month’s arrest of a 22-year-old model from Medellin caught smuggling narcotics into China. Her case focused media attention on the tough conditions faced by the estimated 100 Colombian drug mules in Chinese jails.