Jimenez, known with the alias ‘Macaco,’ was handed over to US federal agents in the early hours of Wednesday, just a few hours after a Colombian court lifted an order that prevented his extradition.Shortly after the court decision was known, Jimenez was taken out of the Combita top-security prison, in the central Colombian province of Boyaca. He was taken by helicopter to a military airfield in Bogota, where officers of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) were waiting.According to Colombian authorities, the DEA plane made a stopover in Miami en route to Washington, where Jimenez is to answer to drug- related charges in court.Colombian Interior and Justice Minister Carlos Holguin said that the extradition was swift because of Jimenez’s record. Colombian officials argue that he is a dangerous individual.Police director Oscar Naranjo, in turn, said the procedure is a warning to drug traffickers.The country’s Supreme Court had authorized the extradition and President Alvaro Uribe had signed the necessary documents.However, a court in the province of Cundinamarca said on April 10 that Jimenez could not be taken to the United States before he offered reparations to the victims of his crimes, as required by deals signed between the government and the paramilitaries between 2003-2006.On Tuesday, a higher court revoked that decision and said there are other mechanisms to seek reparations.Shortly after the extradition happened, the Attorney General’s office launched procedures to confiscate 55 assets (including 25 buildings and 23 motor vehicles) registered in the names of several relatives of Jimenez. The assets, along with money and jewels that were also seized, had an estimated total value of 20 million dollars.Analysts expected that the state would use these assets to compensate victims of the paramilitary group that ‘Macaco’ commanded.Jimenez demobilized with over 31,000 other members of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), in the framework of negotiations between the group and the government that resulted in the arrest of AUC bosses.Maximum penalties of eight years in prison were established, and the authorities committed themselves not to extradite them to the United States for drug trafficking.However, the government excluded Jimenez from the deal, arguing that he continued to commit crimes from prison. The exclusion included the possibility of extradition and penalties of up to 40 years in jail in Colombia.
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