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COLOMBIA
Paramilitary chief sought
10/7/2002
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Paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño said he would turn himself in after US officials announced that they were seeking his extradition on drug charges. The charges against Castaño and two other leaders of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) stem from a shipment of nearly nine tons of cocaine intercepted in Arica, Chile, in January 2000. Castaño has admitted that the AUC received income from drug trafficking (LP, March 20, 2000).

Salvatore Mancuso, the AUC’s military chief, who was also charged, said he would not surrender. And Castaño added that he would refuse to face charges of terrorism in the United States, which lists the AUC and Colombia’s main rebel groups as foreign terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile, President Alvaro Uribe placed the departments of Bolívar, Sucre and Arauca under military control, giving the armed forces expanded police authority and suspending some civil rights.

 


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