Santrich was rolled out of Bogota‘s La Picota prison in a wheelchair after rumors that President Ivan Duque sought to extradite the FARC’s former ideologue allegedly spurred Santrich to attempt suicide.
Seconds after his release and at only meters from the prison entrance, prosecution officials detained the FARC leader whose release was ordered by the war crimes tribunal on Wednesday and a Bogota court on Friday.
According to the prosecution, Santrich was arrested on the same drug trafficking charge that according to the war crimes tribunal was unsubstantiated in a process that was marred by “serious irregularities.”
However, the prosecution said Friday that US authorities had surrendered “new evidence” that would substantiate the drug trafficking claim and merit his arrest.
This new evidence would contain a testimony of Marlon Marin, the cousin of FARC leader “Ivan Marquez” who became a DEA informant and is currently in the US.
Until Wednesday’s court order to release Santrich and investigate the prosecution and the DEA on suspicion of misconduct, the US Justice Department had refused to surrender evidence.
Increasing tensions between the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the government of President Ivan Duque, whose party is a fierce opponent of the peace process are creating a deepening institutional crisis not seen since 2008 when the president’s political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, unsuccessfully sued Supreme Court magistrates for investigating aides who were spying on the country’s highest court.
The ongoing attempts to link the FARC leader have also created tensions between the US government and Colombia’s judicial and legislative branches that have accused outgoing US ambassador Kevin Whitaker of meddling in the country’s peace process.