The Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Commons (FARC) has condemned the Colombian General Prosecutor’s Office for failing to protect the consitutional rights of former guerrilla leader Jesus Santrich, detained 60 days ago on drug-trafficking charges.
Colombia’s Attorney General Appeals JEP Decision On Santrich
In a statement released on Friday, FARC said the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) has so far failed to assign Santrich a guardianship judge or provide sufficient judicial processes to allow Santrich to plead his innocence and avoid extradition to the United States.
"His capture and imprisonment… does not have a Guardianship Judge who is aware of his case and guarantees due process," the FARC statement reads.
The statement goes on to accuse the Attorney General’s Office of "arbitrarily" preventing the protection of Santrich’s fundamental rights through "fraudulent actions."
FARC says that Santrich filed an application for a guardianship judge to oversee his case on April 30, but despite the law stating that such requests must be dealt with within 10 business days, no reply has yet been received.
"A month and eight days have gone by without a constitutional decision: is it then possible to conclude that the rights of FARC ex-combatants are not recognized in the Constitution?" the statement continues.
"It constitutes an important fact that will allow him to prove his innocence if his defense finally could access the alleged evidence.
"This shows the previous existence of a capture for extradition purposes… the extradition procedure was initiated at the time of his capture and therefore it must be evaluated by the JEP."
On May 17, the JEP – in charge of judging crimes committed during Colombia’s armed conflict – decided to suspend Santirch’s extradition.
The process was suspended for 120 days, during which it will be determined if the former insurgent will be judged by the Colombian justice system, or be sent to the United States.
Santrich was detained after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration accused him of agreeing to export 10 tons of cocaine to the United States after the peace agreement was signed in November 2016. He denies the charges.