March 8, 2021

They ask to begin a process so that Santrich loses his seat in the Colombian Congress

The Colombian Prosecutor's Office (Ministerio Público) on Thursday asked the House of Representatives to begin the process to remove from its legislative seat the ex-leader of the FARC "Jesus Santrich" after the arrest warrant issued against him by the Supreme Court of Justice .

The process, called "empty chair", is a legal figure that "makes it impossible for the definitive replacement of members of public corporations against whom a conviction is pronounced" or "the temporary replacement in case of an arrest warrant issued against them" as part of processes related to drug trafficking, among others, the Attorney General recalls in his letter.

Santrich is one of the ten members of the FARC indicated by that party to occupy a legislative seat, in this case in the House of Representatives, under the peace agreement signed on November 24, 2016.

The Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia issued an arrest warrant Tuesday against Seuxis Paucias Hernández, the given name of "Santrich" and asked Interpol to activate the red circular for his arrest after he did not appear for an investigation in a trial of drug trafficking.

The high court "decided to issue an arrest warrant for investigation purposes against him for the crimes of aggravated conspiracy, manufacture, trafficking or possession of narcotics."

In this regard, the Office of the Attorney General recalled that the sanction of the empty chair "is directed both to whom corresponds" the seat, in this case Santrich, and "to political parties and movements", which in this situation is the Revolutionary Alternative Force party. of the Common (FARC), in which that old guerrilla was transformed.

The basis of the sanction is based on "having endorsed or selected a person who has been ordered to arrest him" as part of a criminal proceeding, since "with these behaviors the rationale for being, the nature and purposes of State".

"In this way it prevents any member of a public corporation from being replaced," the letter from the Attorney General's Office picks up.

He adds that this rule "generates all public corporations, including Congress, the obligation and duty, in those cases where the factual elements of the figure of the empty chair are given, of not allowing the replacement of the congressman who is subject of arrest warrant ".

The trial against Santrich and for which he is requested in extradition by the United States. It is for an alleged crime of drug trafficking committed after December 1, 2016 when the peace agreement signed by the Government and the FARC came into force.

However, last May the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) granted Santrich the guarantee of non-extradition on the grounds that the evidence provided by the United States was insufficient and the case went to the Supreme Court that must define its situation .

However, Santrich, who on June 11 of this year assumed as representative to the Chamber, left planted his security scheme on June 30 during a visit to the Territorial Space for Training and Reintegration (ETCR) of Tierra Grata, located in the department of Cesar (north), and left in an "unknown" direction, as reported by the Government.

The FARC party itself said on Tuesday that it is disappointed and hurt by Santrich after it left the Supreme Court of Justice planted.

In this regard, the Attorney General said it will make a "special preventive surveillance on the case" and asked the president of the House "to evaluate and adopt necessary measures to prevent a contrary to the legal system is intended a replacement in the seat" of Santrich.

(tagsToTranslate) Request (t) start (t) Santrich (t) Colombian Congress (t)

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