FARC Leader Who Guarded Betancourt Sentenced To 27 Years In Prison In United States
By Dialogo July 26, 2010
A Colombian guerrilla commander involved in the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt and of three Americans was sentenced in New York to twenty-seven years in prison on drug-trafficking charges.
Federal judge Thomas Hogan handed down the sentence Thursday against Gerardo Aguilar Ramírez, the commander of the First Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), fifty-one years old, extradited to the United States last year.
In December, the FARC commander admitted that he had directed the production and distribution of tons of cocaine intended to be sent to the United States.
Ramírez was extradited by Colombia in July 2009 on condition that he be tried in the United States exclusively on drug-trafficking charges.
The insurgent had been detained in 2008 together with Alexander Farfán (‘Gafas’) during Operation Jaque, in which the Colombian army rescued Ingrid Betancourt, the Americans Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell, and eleven Colombian military and police personnel, in the southeastern part of the country.
According to the American former hostages, who were in the power of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for five years, ‘César’ and ‘Gafas’ were the men responsible for guarding them during the last years of their captivity.
“The incarceration of narco-terrorists like Aguilar Ramírez helps to choke the international drug trade,” said the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara.