Colombia’s justice minister announced Thursday that the country is pursing six new extradition treaties with countries in Europe and South America.
After the Colombian senate approved the first round of debate on an extradition treaty with Mexico, Juan Carlos Esguerra announced that the Santos administration was also pursuing treaties with Russia, France, Costa Rica, Argentina, Panama and Paraguay.
The Minister defended Colombia’s extradition policies, which some legislators have criticized for granting too much power to other countries’ justice systems. “Extradition cannot be understood as a tool for another country to enforce justice. It is for each [country] to carry out justice for crimes committed in its own territory,” said Esguerra.
Colombia’s extradition treaty with the United States has received particular criticism, with many claiming criminals recieve overly lax sentences.
Esguerra maintained however that Colombia’s extradition policy upheld the power bestowed in the country’s justice system. “When a much more serious offense is committed in Colombia, [the criminal] must first respond to justice here,” he said.