The United States embassy said Wednesday that it “regrets” the refusal of Colombia’s war crimes tribunal to extradite a FARC leader and ignored the court’s allegations it may have violated international law.
The war crimes tribunal’s decision to release ex-FARC commander “Jesus Santrich” threw Colombian politics into chaos and prompted the resignation of Colombia’s justice minister and two top prosecutors.
In a press release, the embassy said “we consider this decision regrettable” and on Twitter called resigned chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez and his deputy “great patriots.”
We consider this decision regrettable, as the United States complied with the provisions of the Convention extradition requirements established with Colombia… We consider an appeal necessary and urgent.
United States embassy
The embassy added that the controversial drug trafficking charges filed in New York City against Santrich still stands.
Martinez appears to have become a United States ally of convenience for his cooperation, despite the fact that he has been implicated in two corruption scandals uncovered by the US, although never charged.
Attorney General Martinez and his deputy prosecutor, Maria Paulina Riveros, are great patriots who promoted the rule of law in Colombia and advocated for our vibrant and productive bilateral judicial cooperation. His service to Colombia and justice has had a lasting impact and is appreciated by the United States.
Ambassador Kevin Whitaker
The court’s order to investigate suspicions that DEA agents broke the law — and thus could be vulnerable to criminal charges in Colombia — were ignored by the embassy.
The prosecutor’s office admitted that US agents collected evidence and possibly intercepted phones without official not as DEA agents, but as civilians and without any compulsory judicial assistance from Colombian authorities. This could potentially lead to criminal charges against the involved agents.
The attempts to have Santrich extradited have done great damage to the relations between the two countries already with ambassador Kevin Whitaker being accused of “meddling” in internal affairs by Congress and the presidents of Colombia’s highest courts.
US President Donald Trump accused his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque of “doing nothing” to curb drug trafficking between the two countries that, contrary to the countries’ counternarcotics efforts, has never been more successful.