Brazil to extradite Colombian drug lord to United States

Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal unanimously approved Thursday the extradition to the United States of Colombian drug boss Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, who is considered one of the main leaders of the North of the Valley cartel.

Brazil to extradite Colombian drug lord to United States
The court's eleven magistrates backed the arguments of public prosecutor Antonio Fernandes de Souza, who argued for the extradition based on the US government's commitment that Ramirez Abadia, alias "Chupeta," will not be condemned to more than 30 years in prison - the highest possible penalty contemplated in Brazil.

"I authorize the request (for extradition) on the condition that the state requesting it takes on the commitment to commute the penalties of life in prison or death for a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail," judge Eros Grau said.

Following the ruling, the extradition of Ramirez Abadia only required the approval of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"Chupeta," wanted for 15 murders in the United States and a further 300 in Colombia, was arrested in August in his luxurious home near Sao Paulo. He has been charged in Brazil - where he had been living for three years - with money laundering, use of forged documents, criminal association and corruption.

The United States requested his extradition on October 18.

Ramirez Abadia offered to give the Brazilian state 30-40 million dollars in exchange for benefits including the cancellation of legal proceedings against him in Brazil and a prompt extradition to the United States. Brazilian authorities declined the offer.

Brazilian police suspect "Chupeta" has at least 100 million dollars in the country, beyond the assets that have already been seized and auctioned off by Brazilian authorities.

Agencies
Last Mod: 14 Mart 2008, 18:07
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