March 8, 2021

Colombia receives notification from the USA on the extradition of Andrés Felipe Arias

The Colombian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that it received a notification from the Government of the United States confirming that it granted the extradition of former Agriculture Minister Andrés Felipe Arias, sentenced in the South American country to 17 years in prison for the case Agro Secured Income.

"On July 10, the Colombian Embassy in Washington received a note from the Government of the United States informing the Colombian State that Andrés Felipe Arias was extradited to Colombia, as required by the Supreme Court of Justice." indicated the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

In the text, added the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United States "asks the competent authorities to get in touch to coordinate what corresponds to their delivery."

Therefore, "the Foreign Ministry, as a diplomatic channel, will proceed to send this note to the Ministry of Justice, competent entity to advance the corresponding coordination," explained the official dispatch.

The US Government opened on July 9 the door to the extradition of Arias to ensure that it has already complied with the legal procedures and signed the "delivery order" to Colombia.

Arias, who has been detained in the United States since August 2016, received an adverse decision from the Atlanta Court of Appeals on Monday, which upheld the verdict of two Miami judges who approved his extradition to Colombia.

The Department of State recalled on Tuesday that since February 21st, the "delivery order authorizing the extradition of Arias to Colombia, in response to a request presented by the Colombian authorities in November 2014, has been signed."

Arias was sentenced in absentia by the Supreme Court of Colombia to 17 years in prison for a case of fraudulent use of official credits to benefit large landowners when he was minister during the Government of Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010).

This Monday "the Court of Appeals confirmed the rulings of the lower courts that considered Arias extraditable," said the government spokesman.

The Agro Ingreso Seguro case refers to low-interest loans that the Colombian Government granted through small-scale farmers through an agency of the Inter-American System to purchase irrigation systems.

Arias arrived in the USA in June 2014, a few days before he was sentenced in absentia in his country to more than 17 years in prison and a fine of more than 15 million dollars, and shortly after he applied for political asylum, but in August 2016 he was arrested in reason for a request for extradition presented by Colombia.

(tagsToTranslate) Colombia (t) USA (t) Andres (t) Felipe (t) Arias

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