Arab Times

FARC rebel sentenced to 27 yrs:

Lat/Am

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A member of the Colombian FARC rebel group was sentenced to 27 years in US federal prison on Tuesday for his role guarding three American hostages held captive in Colombia in the 2000s.

Diego Alfonso Navarrete Beltran, 43, was extradited to the United States last year to face charges for the 2003 kidnapping of Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell, civilian contractor­s rescued by the Colombian military in 2008.

All three men testified at Navarrete Beltran’s sentencing in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and celebrated it afterwards outside the courthouse.

With peace talks proceeding in Havana between the Revolution­ary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) group and the Colombian government, the three said they fear extraditio­ns of other FARC leaders involved in their abduction may be delayed to facilitate the negotiatio­ns.

“Does justice stop because of the peace process?” asked Gonsalves in remarks to reporters.

One of the main FARC negotiator­s at the Havana talks, Dutch national Tanja Nijmeijer, was the first FARC rebel to tell Gonsalves, Howes, and Stansell that they would be executed if anyone attempted to rescue them, Gonsalves said.

“The peace process is not really legitimate,” he said. (RTRS)

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