Fri. Apr 26th, 2019

"Santrich" celebrates a year in prison amid a legal train crash

"Santrich" celebrates a year in prison amid a legal train crash



"Jesus Santrich", one of the leaders of the former FARC guerrillas, served a year in custody on Tuesday pending the decision to be extradited to the United States. for drug trafficking, petition that gave rise to a train clash between the ordinary Colombian justice system and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).

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The entanglement begins because the JEP states that the ex-guerrillas can not be extradited for crimes committed before December 1, 2016, the date on which the peace agreement signed by the Government and the demobilized guerrilla in November of that year came into force. of which the special jurisdiction is the backbone.

However, "it was established that when there was a request for extradition on a former member of the FARC, the JEP (...) would have to decide on the date on which the events occurred," Magistrate José Gregorio Hernández explained to Efe. former president of a Constitutional Court of Colombia.

That is to say, the JEP must determine if the crime of which "Santrich" is accused, whose given name is Seuxis Pausias Hernández Solarte, was before or after the peace agreement was in effect.

"If it was before, the person can not be extradited," says Hernández.

"Santrich" was arrested in Bogotá on April 9 of last year and after his arrest the then president, Juan Manuel Santos, appeared before the media to explain that the attorney general, Nestor Humberto Martnez, had informed him that it was the result of " rigorous investigations ".

According to Santos then commented, the Prosecutor's Office "has conclusive and conclusive evidence that would demonstrate the responsibility of Mr. Seuxis Hernández, known as 'Jesus Santrich', in drug trafficking crimes committed after the signing of the agreement."

Days later, the Prosecutor General's Office disseminated part of the evidence, which included videos in which the former guerrilla leader, with vision problems and whose image and linguistic attitude is particularly rejected among Colombians, received an object that the authorities identify as a "token" that apparently it was the symbol of the agreement to send ten tons of cocaine to the United States.

The arrest of "Santrich" and the beginning of the subsequent odyssey has become for other former guerrilla leaders a symbol that has led them to show their distrust towards the future of the peace agreement.

So much so, that the ex-number two of the FARC and former negotiator "Iván Márquez", guerrilla name of Luciano Marín Arango, even said that after the arrest the peace agreement approached "its most critical point".

"Márquez" is currently unaccounted for and, although he has submitted reports to the JEP, his future is unknown, which is largely due to the arrest of "Santrich".

In any case, the prolongation of his detention is due to the lack of a decision by the JEP about the date of his detention, which for former Judge Hernández is due to the fact that the special jurisdiction is entrusted with "the competence to that resolves exclusively the date "in which the alleged crime took place.

That's why the JEP asked the US the facts about the case, something absolutely extraordinary that ordinary justice never does.

In the opinion of Hernández, "everything comes from bad writing" of the legislative act that gave life to the JEP because it includes an article that grants that work to that entity that, nevertheless, "has absolutely no element of judgment".

The result is that "Colombia is falling badly with the US" and that "Santrich" "is deprived of his freedom" without a decision being made about his future.

To make matters worse, the delay and eventual rejection of extradition damages the good judicial collaboration between Colombia and the United States. and "necessarily generates friction between the two countries," according to Hernández.

"I think that frictions are necessarily generated between the two States and there is probably, if this is not resolved, an upset on the part of the US State," added the former president of the Constitutional Court.

In addition, it considers that the "train clash" that in its opinion already exists between ordinary and special peace justice may worsen since "the rules applicable to the JEP are not clear".

For that reason, he considers that the way out is for the Colombian president, Iván Duque, to present to the Congress "some draft of reform to the legislative act on extradition and JEP".

While this is happening, "Santrich" will continue to be detained in what the FARC party that the guerrilla became once it left its weapons, once again qualified as an "unjust presidio".

Gonzalo Domínguez Loeda

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