US convicts Colombian drug lord

22nd July 2010, Comments 0 comments

A member of Colombia's narco-insurgency implicated in the kidnapping of foreigners and a prominent Colombian politician was sentenced Thursday in New York to 27 years in prison for drug trafficking.

FARC commander Gerardo Aguilar Ramirez, 51, was extradited to the United States from Colombia last year.

He pleaded guilty in December to importing "ton-quantities of cocaine, knowing and intending that the cocaine would be imported into the United States," the US prosecutor's office in New York said.

The United States accuses the FARC, which started as a Marxist guerrilla group, of being the world's biggest cocaine manufacturer.

Ramirez was arrested in a 2008 military operation to rescue former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three US citizens and other hostages held by FARC in the southeast of Colombia.

© 2010 AFP

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