By Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) calls for the immediate release of Colombian peace negotiator Jesús Santrich, who is under arrest pursuant to an extradition request from the U.S.
Santrich was an important negotiator in the Colombian peace negotiations in Havana, Cuba. He is currently a key figure in the newly formed, legally constituted, party Fuerza Alternative del Común (FARC). The arrest of Santrich threatens to derail, or even destroy, the Colombian peace agreement that was concluded in 2016.
Santrich is the victim of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency ‘sting’ operation with the collusion of the Colombian Attorney General, who is a known enemy of the Colombian peace agreement. Santrich, the peace negotiator, is falsely implicated in a trumped up drug case. It should be remembered that the U.S. has repeatedly used the ‘justice system’ to attack the Colombian left. Simón Trinidad was extradited to the U.S. in 2004 on false charges and remains in prison at the Florence Supermax in Colorado under inhuman conditions.
Santrich was about to take his congressional seat, along with several of his colleagues, when he was arrested. It is clear that this operation was designed to undermine the peace agreement and impede the left’s participation in Colombian politics. This arrest clearly violates the peace agreement and in particular Transitory Article 19 of the Legislative Act 01 of 2017, which determines that the Colombian Special Peace Jurisdiction (JEP) is the only competent authority to handle this matter, as none of the spurious accusations occurred anywhere but in Colombia.
Jesús Santrich remains on an indefinite hunger strike to protest his arrest and extradition. HIs health is rapidly deteriorating.
The Colombian government has not fulfilled its promises under the peace agreement. It is estimated that it has only complied with 18% of its obligations under this important agreement. There are over 600 political prisoners incarcerated who were due to be released in 2017 pursuant to the Special Peace Jurisdiction. The Colombian government promised to invest in programs for the social reincorporation of former guerrilla fighters, but these promises remain unfulfilled.
Freedom Road Socialist Road Socialist Organization calls on the government of the U.S. to stop interfering in the internal affairs of Colombia and to cancel the extradition request for Santrich. FRSO also calls on the Colombian government to release Jesús Santrich and to comply with its obligations under the peace agreement. These actions are necessary for peace in the Americas.