Colombia’s President Ivan Duque signed off on the extradition of a paramilitary chief, ignoring a Supreme Court request to first try him for crimes against humanity.
But the president ignored the court’s request to postpone the ratification until after the paramilitary chief is tried in Colombia where he is is facing charges of, among others, homicide, forced disappearance, forced displacement, and the recruitment of child soldiers.
Judicial experts and victim organizations have said that the extradition of paramilitary chief by former President Alvaro Uribe, Duque’s political patron, deprived more than 200,000 victims of justice.
In order to prevent this from happening, the Supreme Court asked Duque to “consider to postpone the surrender of the requested person until national authorities have completed their actions against him.”
Despite Pipon’s two decades of involvement in crimes against humanity in Colombia, Duque does not believe that his extradition to face much lighter charges in the United States promotes impunity.
“The extradition of the accused does not prevent investigations and prosecutions from continuing. Extradition does not end or suspend proceedings in Colombia,” newspaper El Tiempo quoted a presidential palace statement.
But according to judicial experts and victims, this is a lie that only serves to protect Duque’s political allies and economic backers from being investigated over their alleged ties to groups like the AUC and the AGC.
Extradition forms part of the Colombian government strategy… to frustrate the rights of victims, and promote impunity for those most responsible for the crimes committed by paramilitary groups over the past 25 years: politicians at local, regional and national level, members of the Colombian Armed Forces, State officials, corporations and large landowners.
Pipon is the brother “Gavilan,” a late member of the AGC’s central command, who was killed in a police operation in 2017.