The U.S. government presented a plan designed to make it easier for Colombian judicial authorities to access extradited paramilitaries being held in U.S. prisons, in order to facilitate victim reparation in Colombia’s Justice and Peace process, according to Minister of Interior and Justice Fabio Valencia Cossio.
The plan will see prisoners concentrated in two U.S. prisons in order to expedite and facilitate access to them, while the Colombian government will appoint a liaison officer who will co-ordinate with the Colombian Prosecutor General’s office, the Colombian Supreme Court and ordinary courts.
The Colombian government, while reflecting on the “50 years” of “agreements and joint efforts in the field of justice” shared with the U.S., said that extradition treaty between the two nations has successfully combated transnational crime and drug trafficking.
In April, U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield called for the U.S-Colombia extradition treaty to be adjusted to avoid a repeat of the Colombian Supreme Court’s decision to block the extradition of paramilitary leader “Don Mario” due to his involvement in the Justice and Peace Process.
Extradited paramilitaries themselves have complained that their extradition has stopped them from adequately participating in the reparation process.
The U.S-Colombian extradition treaty has been in place since 1982 and was amended in 1997 to allow for the extradition of Colombian nationals.