Friday, September 30, 2005

A Colombian right-wing paramilitary leader wanted on drug trafficking charges by the US will not be extradited, the government has said

BBC News:

It said Diego Fernando Murillo, known as Don Berna, could stay in Colombia provided he honoured the terms of a peace process with the government.

The US said it would continue to seek Don Berna's extradition.

He is alleged to have worked for the drug-trafficker Pablo Escobar before emerging as an AUC commander.

Don Berna's extradition had been authorised by Colombia's Supreme Court earlier this month.

But on Thursday, President Alvaro Uribe said the paramilitary would not be handed over to the US if he co-operated with the demobilisation process set out in the Justice and Peace law.

The law passed recently by congress limits the time for investigations into any atrocities, as well as the jail sentences that can be served for them.

It has proved very controversial, with human rights groups arguing that it will provide an amnesty for paramilitaries and allow them to act with impunity.

And Uribe is supposed to be an ally of the United States. I wonder how many drug-traffickers would he be trying to protect from the US justice system if he were our enemy?

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