Colombia extradites captured rebel, 9 others to US


Bogota : Colombia has extradited a captured leftist guerrilla, the ex-girlfriend of a jailer of high-value captives rescued last year, and nine other suspects to the US.

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Nancy Conde Rubio, alias Doris Adriana, who is accused of serving as logistics coordinator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was the girlfriend of Gerardo Antonio Aguilar, one of the jailers of three kidnapped US military contractors freed in a dramatic operation on July 2, 2008.

Aguilar was arrested in the operation, in which Colombian troops posing as Red Cross officials duped a FARC unit into handing over the Americans and 12 other hostages, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt. Aguilar was extradited in July to the US.

The operation was considered the biggest blow to the FARC, which was holding the hostages for political leverage, in its more than 40-year history.

Conde, for her part, is accused of “conspiracy to supply support material and resources to a terrorist organization,” official said.

The FARC, which has fought a decades-old war against a succession of Colombian governments, is considered a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union.

Conde, 37, was arrested in the northeastern city of Cucuta on Feb 2 and, according to the results of an investigation, formed part of a FARC network that smuggled drugs to the United States via Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil and used the proceeds of those sales to acquire communications equipment and arms.

In an interview days ago with RCN radio, Conde termed the extradition “unjust” and said she was being sent to the US “only because of having been (Aguilar’s) girlfriend”.

Also extradited to the US Saturday were a drug lord identified as Gildardo Rodriguez Herrera and eight other suspects accused of drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy.