A congressman of Colombia’s leftist position on Wednesday proposed a bill that seeks to prevent the possible extradition of FARC members wanted by the US Justice Department.
House Representative Victor Correa (Democratic Pole) said he wants to shield the leaders of the FARC, the country’s largest rebel group, from the possibility of being extradited to the United States.
The bill could convince the FARC leadership, currently negotiating peace with the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, they do not face the same fate as the leaders of paramilitary organization AUC who — against made agreements with the government in their 2005 peace deal — were extradited.
“The bill seeks to modify the conditions of how extradition currently is handled in the country,” Correa was quoted as saying by newspaper El Espectador.
“We want to guarantee to the people who have submitted to transitional justice processes can be extradited. This would not benefit peace,” Correa said.
The bill would also give the government the faculty to demand other nations to repatriate demobilized members of groups that took part in peace processes, currently not allowed by Colombian law and controversial because of its potential harm to diplomatic relations with countries that have an extradition treaty with Colombia.
The only country where members of demobilized illegal armed groups have been extradited to is the United States, a major ally of Colombia in matters of defense.
One of those extradited members is prominent FARC leader “Simon Trinidad,” who is serving a 60-year sentence for his connection to the 2002 kidnapping of three American military contractors.
The FARC have made Trinidad a formal member of the negotiations team that have in peace talks since November 2012.
The guerrillas have demanded that Trinidad be repatriated, which has stirred political controversy in the US.
The bill could also open the door for Colombia to ask the repatriation of the leadership of the AUC who, against court orders, were extradited while in the middle of their judicial processes, revealing extensive ties between the paramilitaries and state officials.
According to several media, the Santos administration has made no statement on whether it would support the bill.