Researched by Kerry Headley and Caitlin Morgan
Columbian president Alvaro Uribe extradited fifteen of Columbia’s most murderous paramilitary leaders to the United States, where they are being prosecuted only for drug-trafficking. The extradition interrupts, and perhaps ends, an effort by Columbian authorities to prosecute these paramilitaries for ordering and participating in the murder of tens of thousands of civilians carried out in collaboration with the Columbian state.
U.S. prosecutors are said to be negotiating deals with these professional killers that would provide light sentences in exchange for information on drug trafficking. The extradition effectively prevents the leaders from testifying about their links with politicians and others close to Uribe, such as his cousin Senator Mike Uribe. Inquiries of Congressional Representatives made by the Columbian Support Network revealed there may be no written agreement setting forth the terms of extradition, so the public may never know what the U.S. Department of Justice will do.
“Extradition from Columbia: Crime without Punishment?” Columbia Support Network, North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), 8/19/2008 http://nacla.org/print/4911