The Colombian government on Wednesday proposed reduced sentences for paramilitaries extradited to the U.S. if they cooperate with the Justice and Peace process, reports El Tiempo.
Deputy Justice Minister Miguel Ceballos is in Washington to discuss with U.S officials how to “initiate a process of reviewing the mechanisms that are currently running against the extradition” process.
“The issue of reducing sentences is controversial, but there is an incentive both in Colombia and in the U.S. for these people, offering truth and reparation, to get some legal benefits,” Ceballos said.
Ceballos reiterated a proposal made in June by Justice Minister Fabio Valencia, calling for the appointment of a Colombian judge and liaison prosecutor in Washington to expedite collection of information from the extradited paramilitaries.
The deputy minister said that the meeting had gone well, stressing that the U.S. government “has reaffirmed its will” to “further strengthen and refine” judicial cooperation between the two countries.
Contrary to earlier reports, the Colombian Supreme Court issued a statement Wednesday denying that it ever requested an amendment to the U.S.-Colombia extradition treaty.
The statement, signed by president of the chamber, Maria del Rosario Gonzalez, said that the reports were not only “alien to the truth” but also riddled with “inconsistencies and inaccuracies.”
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would not extradite Freddy Rendon Herrera, alias “El Aleman,” to the U.S. because he must first answer to Colombian justice and make reparations to his victims.
U.S Ambassador William Brownfield said Wednesday that the U.S. government had no intention of re-examining the extradition treaty, but was open to reassessing the way the system worked in order to facilitate Colombia’s Justice and Peace process, in which paramilitaries are encouraged to tell the truth about their crimes and pay reparations to their victims.