Colombia extradites paramilitary warlord to US
Colombia extradited one of the country's most feared paramilitary warlords to the United States early Wednesday to face drug trafficking charges, the government said.
Carlos Mario Jimenez was flown to Washington, D.C., via Miami on a Drug Enforcement Administration plane, according to President Alvaro Uribe's office. The announcement came just hours after Colombia's top judicial panel overturned a Supreme Court decision that had temporarily blocked the extradition.
The Supreme Court had ruled last month that Jimenez should not leave the country until he has confessed to crimes he committed as the leader of illegal far-right militias and paid reparations to his victims.
On Tuesday, the judiciary's high council overturned that decision.
Last year, the Colombian government stripped Jimenez of benefits offered during peace negotiations - including protection from extradition - because it said he was continuing to traffic drugs and run paramilitary operations from prison.
Far-right paramilitaries are engaged in a peace process with the government that has seen more than 31,000 fighters lay down their weapons. Commanders must confess to crimes in exchange for reduced sentences.
The 42-year-old Jimenez, better known by his alias "Macaco," was among the least cooperative warlords, and in August became the first militia leader to lose his benefits under the peace deal.
He is now the first to be extradited to the United States.