Thursday, April 10, 2014

Colombia: Update--Assailants in Robbery, Homicide of DEA Agent in Bogotá to be Extradited to US

According to The Latin American Tribune, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Thursday (April 10) that he signed the order to extradite to the US the seven Colombians accused in connection with the June 2013 kidnapping and murder of a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent.

Santos made the announcement in an interview with La FM radio, eight days after Colombia’s Supreme Court authorized the extraditions after determining that Special Agent James Terry Watson was a protected person in the United States.

The measure affects Andrés Alvaro Oviedo García, Hector Leonardo López, Julio Stiven García Ramirez, Edgar Javier Bello Murillo, Wilson Daniel Peralta Bocachica, Omar Fabian Valdes Gualtero and Edwin Gerardo Figueroa Sepulveda, and now it only remains to set the date on which the extraditions will be made.

COMMENT: Special Agent Watson was killed on June 20, 2013, in northern Bogotá by a gang of robbers who specialized in staging “millionaire” kidnappings, whereby they force their victim to remove money from ATMs.
Agent Watson took a taxi after leaving a restaurant and immediately members of the band tried to rob him, but Watson resisted, which led to a struggle in which he was stabbed several times and injured with a stun gun.

Although Watson managed to exit the taxi alive, he died a few hours later at a Bogotá hospital.

A few days later, the Colombian police identified and arrested the seven members of the gang and a US federal grand jury in Virginia handed down indictments against them in July 2013.