Venezuela confirmed Wednesday that it has begun the extradition process of a prominent FARC leader and guerrilla songsmith whose arrest in Venezuela was announced in June.
Guillermo Enrique Torres, alias “Julian Conrado,” and known as “the Singer” was captured in a joint operation involving both Colombian and Venezuelan authorities, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos announced in June.
Since then, speculation has been rife that Conrado would apply for asylum in Venezuela and supporters have campaigned against his extradition.
There had also been suggestions that Conrado was too ill to be extradited and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro previously admitted receiving information about a “delicate health situation” from the guerrilla’s family and associates.
Responding to the speculation Maduro would only say there had been a medical evaluation alongside the judicial evaluation.
Conrado composed over 100 songs of protest and guerrilla life in his 28 years in the FARC, including unofficial FARC anthem “From my people to the guerrilla”. He was known as the right hand man of killed FARC commander “Raul Reyes” as well as a FARC leader in his own right.
Earlier this month, Colombian Minister of Defense Rodrigo Riviera attributed the capture of Conrado to improved relations and cooperation with Venezuela.