6 responses

  1. roy black
    February 16, 2017

    The 11th circuit has also held the treaty is not in effect. a defendant appealed a sentence which was in excess of that allowed pursuant to the extradition treaty and the 11th ruled since the Colombian supreme court held the treaty was not in effect then it wasn’t. Kafka would love all this.


    • Mario Alfredo Machado
      February 16, 2017

      Indeed, Roy. Unfortunately, as you know the 11th cir. precedent cited by Arias was referred to as dicta, and the order also stated that those cases dealt with defendants being sent from Colombia to the U.S., and not the other way around.

      I have trouble with that second part, as it is a distinction without a difference for purposes of this case. Also troubling is how Colombia is thumbing its nose at the U.S. while still demanding that America ship Arias off to Colombia. As the defense stated in its reply to Colombia’s response:

      “Because it did not ratify the Treaty, Colombia denies U.S. requests to extradite drug
      traffickers and violent criminals to the United States. This violates Article 1, which says the Treaty must be reciprocal: “The Contracting Parties agree to extradite to each other … .” President Santos told the BBC that Colombia will deny U.S. extradition requests for FARC leader Rodrigo Londono Echeverri and “some 70 other FARC members sought for drug
      trafficking and other offences.”

      Must be damn nice to have it so good.


    February 17, 2017


    My daughter spent three years living and teaching in Colombia and so I took some time to look into the politics there and particularly President Uribe. There seems little doubt that he brought the FARC nearly to its knees.

    For many Colombians (likely the majority) and ex-pats like my daughter, Uribe was a true hero. By the time Uribe came to power, FARC had morphed into a drug, kidnapping and killing enterprise almost exclusively. Uribe’s success in dealing with FARC was seen by many as saving Colombia from becoming a totally failed state.

    Two questions:

    (1) With the foregoing in mind, and given the failure of the Colombian people to ratify the first “peace agreement” with the FARC, which, I’m guessing was not viewed favorably by President Obama, I wonder whether DOJ’s position is likely to change under the Trump administration?

    (2) If the dark hand of the FARC is anywhere near the extradition request, then this poor guy is likely to die in a Colombian prison of multiple stab wounds received from “unknown” prisoners. What do you know, if anything, about whether FARC is pushing the extradition request?

    Fascinating post! All the best.


    PS I fear that peace and reconciliation in Colombia will also have more than a small component of pay-back.


    • Mario Alfredo Machado
      February 17, 2017

      Thanks Judge.

      1. I don’t think the DOJs position will change, given that Colombia sends so many traffickers to be tried in U.S. District Courts, upon request by the feds. Unless and until the U.S. stops requesting extradition of Colombian drug kingpins (which I do not see happening anytime soon, or during Trump’s administration), the U.S. will do its best to placate Colombia by sending them people like Arias.

      It stinks to high heaven that Santos said he will refuse to send 70 FARC guerrilla leaders should the U.S. request them, but I think that’s part of the very nice amnesty package he has given them, which started with the FARC leaders indulging in wine, women, and song in Cuba for over a year while the negotiations took place. But as far as non-FARC traffickers, that Colombia-to-U.S. pipeline will not cease.

      2. I don’t know, and don’t think that FARC is pushing this request. They welcome it, as well as his demise, but it looks like a political witch hunt on the part of the new Colombian administration. Santos, for better (finalized “peace deal”) or worse (granted amnesty to a group of very dangerous gangsters with decades-long rap sheets) stabbed Uribe in the back, Uribe fought back, and this is Santos’ reply.

      I do know that if Arias loses here and is sent back, it would be an embarrassment and a disgrace for the Santos administration should Arias end up dead in a Colombian jail cell.




  3. stevie g
    February 17, 2017

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but Colombian President Santos has historic ties to the terrorist group FARC and even to Castro himself. In short, it is evident that the extradition of Arias, who sided with ex-president Uribe, is simply political revenge. The USA should not be engaged in being a puppet for this reckless despot.

    Upon becoming president, Santos stabbed Uribe in the back and, when the Colombian people voted against the deal with FARC, Santos simply bypassed them and had his peace plan upheld by a friendly Congress. Colombians are also upset that they had to pay for FARC’s dinners, hotels, entertainment and Cuban cigars during years of negotiating the Peace Plan. The real problem is that after years and years of terrorizing and killing, there is no real justice for the FARC guerrillas.

    To think that Santos’ deal with the FARC will bring peace to Colombia ignores the realities of that country. There are still lots of drugs and delinquent gangs who rob, kidnap and extort on a daily basis. And there is extreme poverty that is not addressed by the Colombian government. (Still better than Venezuela though!) Like most banana republics, the majority of the wealth is controlled by a very small percentage of the elite.

    That Santos received the Nobel peace prize is the biggest joke since one of our own ex-presidents did likewise.

    Sheesh! It doesn’t help that Santos bears an uncanny resemblance to Batman’s joker. Que jueson!


  4. Javier
    February 22, 2017

    I am a Colombian who knows he is using all issues Colombia has for his own benefit. This man, Andres Felipe Arias, is nothing else than a corrupted, criminal ex politician. Bring him back to pay for all his crimes.


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