Though the Colombian government is meant to meet with the country’s largest guerrilla group FARC in Norway within the next week for formal peace negotiations, the U.S. has yet to retract a “red notice” alert for FARC negotiator “Andres Paris,” preventing his travel to the foreign country.
FARC spokesperson Andres Paris still has an active red notice alert for his capture at the request of U.S. authorities, and it seems as though no government officials are aware of whether or not this status will change in time for the commencement of the peace process.
“As long as they are still on our public website, an alert notice for their international capture still exists,” a representative of international police organization Interpol told Colombia Reports on Monday.
Various other authorities were unaware or unable to comment on Tuesday whether or not the status of the guerrilla spokesman’s red notice alert would change in time.
While Interpol headquarters stated that in this specific case it was the responsibility of the U.S. to request the cancellation of the notice before it is removed, as they were the ones to originally request the red notice be posted, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. embassy in Colombia, the Colombian embassy in the U.S., and Interpol Colombia were unaware if the notice would be taken down, or if the cancellation had been requested at all in the first place.
“To be honest, I have no idea about the status of the alert, nor whom to contact about it,” a representative of the Colombian embassy located in the U.S. told Colombia Reports on Tuesday.
“I have been calling the state department every hour for an update on the status of Andres Paris and they still have not given an official report. It does not look likely that the notice will be removed today,” said a representative of the U.S. embassy in Colombia.
A U.S. State Department representative then wrote to Colombia Reports saying, “we do no comment on red notes or law enforcement operations.”
As of Monday, three out of the ten FARC negotiators were still on the Interpol public website with active red notice alerts, two of which were removed by the following day at the request of Colombian authorities.
According to the website, Andres Paris is still wanted to face justice by U.S. authorities, even though he is supposedly travelling with the rest of the FARC negotiators to the Norwegian capital of Oslo next week to begin formal tables of negotiation with the Colombian government, seeking an end the country’s 48-year-old armed conflict.
Interpol’s statement contradicts that of FARC negotiator “Hermes Aguilar” who said Sunday that Interpol had cancelled the notices for all rebel leaders. The presence of the red notice alert also contradicts Colombian newspaper El Tiempo’s statement that said Andres Paris is among other FARC members whose orders have been lifted and are now able to travel around the world without the risk of being captured for crimes they committed in foreign countries.
Interpol lacks the formal authority to issue international arrest warrants, as this is left to sovereign states, but the red notice is the closest possible instrument to this. If the red notice alert is not cancelled for the FARC negotiator, he will be unable to attend the peace negotiations in Norway.
Andres Paris, who was named as one of the main five FARC plenipotentiaries in the table of negotiations, has always been part of the political wing of Colombia’s largest guerrilla group. He was also a negotiator in San Vicente del Caguan. Paris has three arrest warrants against him and is accused for conspiracy, terrorism, rebellion, forced disappearance and forced displacement.