Colombia reissues Interpol Red Notices for three more ex-FARC

  • World
  • Tuesday, 17 Aug 2021

FILE PHOTO: A man passes an Interpol logo during the handing over ceremony of the new premises for Interpol's Global Complex for Innovation, a research and development facility, in Singapore September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia has reissued Interpol Red Notices for three leading FARC dissidents, the country's police chief said on Monday, and called on Interpol member countries - including Venezuela - to arrest and extradite them.

So-called FARC dissidents are former members of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, who reject a 2016 peace deal with the government.

The international arrest warrants were issued for Hernan Dario Velasquez, known as El Paisa; Henry Castellanos, known as Romana, and Jose Vicente Lesmes, known as Walter Mendoza.

The three men are members of a FARC dissident faction led by Luciano Marin, who is better known as Ivan Marquez.

Interpol Red Notices were reissued for Marquez in August, while the United States has offered $10 million for information leading to his capture.

"We are proceeding with the reactivation of international arrest warrants against this drug-trafficking group," General Jorge Luis Vargas, Colombia's police chief, said.

Marquez - who was one of the FARC negotiators who signed the peace deal with the government - and the other leaders declared their rejection of the deal in 2019 and returned to arms.

The dissident leaders face charges of drug trafficking, terrorism, homicide, forced displacement and other crimes against humanity in Colombia, Vargas said.

The government of Colombian President Ivan Duque accuses Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro of sheltering and protecting FARC dissidents, but Caracas has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The Venezuelan government was not immediately available to comment.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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