Colombia’s government on Monday protested to China over the impending execution of a convicted drug trafficker in a last-minute diplomatic effort to stop the death penalty from being applied against one of its nationals.
Ismael Arciniegas was arrested in 2010 for trying to smuggle four kilograms of cocaine into China in exchange for $5,000. He was later sentenced to death and Colombia’s Foreign Ministry said it had learned the native of Cali would be executed in the coming hours.
Some 15,000 Colombians are imprisoned around the world, the majority for drug trafficking. Of those, 15 in China have been sentenced to death and an equal number to life imprisonment.
Since November, China has repatriated two convicted Colombian drug traffickers for humanitarian reasons so they could complete their sentences at home.