Colombia requests the extradition of a member of Chile’s Communist Party (PC) for alleged ties to guerrilla group the FARC.
Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office accuses Manuel Francisco Olate, alias “Roque,” of being the link between Chile’s PC and the Colombian guerrillas, and providing the FARC with financial support. Information found on the computers of deceased guerrilla leader “Raul Reyes,” who was killed in a 2008 raid, allegedly indicates that Roque cooperated with the FARC. According to La Tercera, a series of documents found on the computers suggest Roque had close ties with the guerrilla group and had visited Reyes’ camp in 2003.
A Chilean Supreme Court minister has ruled that Roque will remain in Chilean custody for two months while the Colombian government gathers more evidence and the legalities of extradition are discussed, reports Terra. The two countries have an extradition treaty, but nationals cannot be extradited for political reasons. Roque is a Chilean national residing in Chile, which could give the nation the right to try him in domestic courts.
Roque was allegedly in charge of creating a front group, the Committee of Solidarity with the Colombian People, to avoid being identified as the Chilean cell of the FARC. Additional communication found on the computers shows Reyes thanking Roque “for the sale of products, the collection of money, propaganda and relations with other organizations related to the FARC.”
According to El Tiempo, seven other PC members are being investigated for being possible members of the FARC’s “international front.” Three other people also supposedly visited the FARC camp with Roque, and photos of this encounter have been found on Reyes’ computers.