Colombia’s Justice and Interior Minister German Vargas Lleras has said that U.S. agents are allowed to interview Walid Makled, the alleged Venezuelan drug lord who will soon be extradited to his home country, El Espectador reported Thursday.
Vargas Lleras announced that “we have given full access to the American government for any matter they consider useful,” and confirmed that this cooperation is already underway.
Makled’s extradition to Venezuela was confirmed Wednesday, which signalled the culmination of a political tug-of-war between Venezuela and the U.S. who had both sought his extradition, with Colombia attempting to maintain favorable relations with the two opposing nations.
Makled is accused by the DEA of cooperating with the FARC to distribute cocaine to the United States with the alleged drug lord admitting also to having connections with Venezuela’s political and military elite.
Makled has said however that he will only divulge information on these connections to U.S. investigators if he is extradited to the United States.
Minister Vargas Lleras explained his government’s decision to extradite him to Venezuela, stating that the neighboring nation had first requested Makled’s extradition on August 26 2010, whereas the U.S. had not asked for it until October 6.
Former President Alvaro Uribe has been outspoken on the issue, claiming via Twitter that the U.S. interest in bringing Makled to justice “predates the formal request by Venezuela,” a statement that comes in response to Vargas Lleras’ suggestion that Uribe must be confused over the dates.
The extradition had been scheduled for April 15 and as yet there have been no announcements of a change in plans.