By Kaya Derin Ozkan
The Colombian government has arrested the ex-FARC (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) leader, Jesús Santrich, for drug smuggling after receiving a request from the United States through the US Embassy in Colombia.The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) stated that they hold Santrich responsible trafficking drugs into the United States. Santrich played a critical role in the 2016 peace process with the Colombian government and has also just won a seat in the recent parliamentary elections; however, he has yet to take it.
In a recent press conference, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos – with his Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez by his side – said, “As a result of a rigorous investigation there is irrefutable and overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the responsibility of Mr. Seusis Hernandez, known as Jesus Santrich, having engaged in narco trafficking crimes committed after the signing of the peace accord.”
The President ended by saying, “Colombianos – no matter the difficulties, we have to keep working to create peace, which is the most important legacy that we can leave the next generation. That’s an obligation until the last day of my administration, until the last day of my life.”
A federal judge from the U.S. has written to the Colombian Attorney General on 4 April 2018, making an official request for the arrest of Santrich and asked that the Colombian authorities seize and make available all his computer storage systems, bank accounting and money transfer information.
In the communique to the Attorney General, the U.S. authorities have stated that the arrest request was “proportionate and suitable.” The DEA and several other U.S. authorities operating in the region claim that Santrich is guilty of “moving large quantities of various drugs from Bogota and many other Colombian cities to the United States.”