Colombia Passes Extradition Legislation... But it Won't be Retroactive 12/5/97

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The lower house of the Colombian Congress passed a bill this week which would allow for the extradition of its citizens. The bill, which passed by a margin of 144 to 15, would not be retroactive however, meaning that traffickers currently serving time in Colombia would remain out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement. This provision angered US officials who have been hoping to bring currently incarcerated Colombian kingpins (and their assets) under U.S. jurisdiction.

U.S. State Department spokesman James Foley told the Associated Press that it was regrettable that Colombian lawmakers failed to pass an unrestricted bill. In addition, he said, the move will influence the State Department's decision next March on whether to lift economic sanctions, currently in place due to Colombia's lack of "full cooperation" in the Drug War.

(DRCNet's position is that neither Colombian nor U.S. enforcement is effective at reducing drug or drug trade related harm, and that the U.S. should respect other nations' autonomy.)

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