FARC member extradited to US for kidnapping of American contractors

Posted on Apr 2 2014 - 7:03am by Rico
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Colombian Courts upheld the extradition request for a FARC member sought by the United States for his participation in the 2003 hostage-taking of three American contractors.

Diego Alfonso Navarrete Beltran, nom de guerre “Sebastian,” is wanted by the US on charges of kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnap, carrying and discharging a firearm in the execution of a crime, and conspiracy to provide material support to an international terrorist organization.

Sebastian was a member of the 1st front of the FARC – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – operating in the southern jungles of Colombia. The rebel allegedly was among the members responsible for guarding the the three contractors during their captivity.

Military contractors Thomas Howes, Keith Stansell and Marc Gonsalves were captured by the FARC and held hostage for a total of five years after their small airplane crashed in southern Colombia in February 2003.

Sebastian is wanted by the US on charges of kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnap, carrying and discharging a firearm in the execution of a crime, and conspiracy to provide material support to an international terrorist organization.

He was also noted to have participated in cruelty against the three Americans, who for lengths of time were tied to a tree with chains, and on several occasions threatened with death if they tried to escape.

 MORE: Former FARC commander admits role in kidnapping of 3 Americans

In July 2008, the Americans were rescued by Colombian security forces alongside nearly a dozen Colombian police and military members and former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

 MORE: American contractors kidnapped by FARC awarded $318M

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