Colombian narco-trafficker Victor Patiño avoided deportation to Colombia on Monday after striking a deal with American authorities, citing that a return to Colombia would be too dangerous for him, according to La W Radio.
According to reports, Patiño, who was dropped from a U.S. witness protection program, stalled his deportation back to Colombia on Monday after striking a deal with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The lawyer for the former cocaine trafficker from the Cali Cartel, Robert Feitel, cited that “danger to his life” is the main reason for halting the deportation.
According to his mother, Daisy Fomeque, Patiño’s return to Colombia would be too dangerous for the former narco, because it is known that he cooperated substantially with U.S. authorities in bringing down many other Colombian cocaine traffickers.
“Why is it that if he collaborated so much with the DEA [U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration] they would now send him [home]. If they do send him, they better send him with a coffin, because they will kill him [if he arrives back to Colombia],” Fomeque recalled.
Patiño is apparently looking to be deported to a country other than Colombia, which up until recently “was not a possibility,” his lawyer explained.
Patiño, alias, “The Chemist,” was a former high-ranking member of the Cali Cartel who was arrested by Colombian authorities in 1995 and extradited to the U.S. in 2002 to face drug charges. After spending six years in an American prison, he was released and placed into a witness protection program in the U.S. in 2008.
His parents, wife, three sons and sister had to join him in witness protection after several other, family members, friends, and associates were killed after Patiño began cooperating with U.S. authorities in bringing down fellow Colombian narco-traffickers.