— Noticias RCN (@NoticiasRCN) June 9, 2017
The guerrilla known as “Nader” was arrested in Medellin in February over a pending arrest warrant and a US extradition request while visiting the city to be treated for hepatitis. According to the FARC, the medical visit had been approved by the government.
The Supreme Court subsequently ordered Nader’s immediate release as a peace deal between the FARC and the government signed in November last year includes the lifting of arrest warrants of demobilizing FARC guerrillas and shielded them from extradition to the US.
However, the US ambassador said to be “extremely concerned” the court decision to uphold agreements made in the peace deal “is inconsistent with justice and formed a great risk of creating a troubling and dangerous precedent for bilateral justice.”
As you know, the government of the United States has supported the peace process in Colombia. One of the central principles of this process is to be able to reach a stable and lasting peace through justice. In this sense, the peace deal establishes that individuals who committed crimes for their personal benefit would be excluded of any special treatment, which is particularly the case with Lemos, or any person exempted from extradition.
Lemos and two other guerrillas have been accused by the US for the 2008 kidnapping of a US businessman in Panama City, a crime unrelated to the armed conflict, outside the country and thus outside the jurisdiction of Colombia’s transitional justice system.
The kidnapping victim was ultimately released in 2009 after his family paid a ransom money to the kidnappers. Lemos returned to the FARC’s 57th Front and entered the guerrilla group’s demobilization, disarmament and reintegration process last year.
One of his fellow-kidnappers was extradited in 2010 and sentenced to five years in prison in 2012, according to The Intercept.