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Swede deported over Colombia FARC links

TT/The Local/pvs · 26 Apr 2011, 08:24

Published: 26 Apr 2011 08:24 GMT+02:00

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The Swede landed in Colombia in a police aircraft late on Monday night, according to Anders Jörle at the Swedish foreign ministry.

"We have had contact with the authorities in Bogota and something equating to a remand hearing is to be held on Tuesday, local time," he said.

"The embassy has staff in attendance at the hearing. There is a lawyer there as well, but that is not arranged by us, the man has been given a public attorney."

Sweden is following the case and the embassy in Bogota, which covers both Venezuela and Colombia, has contacted the Colombian authorities. The foreign ministry has to ensure that he is given due legal process, Jörle said.

"The Colombian authorities have been unusually cautious with details in this case. They would normally inform us about detained Swedes."

"We can not get involved in the actual case but we can demand consular access to the man in order to, among other things, provide him with legal help."

Relations between Venezuela and Colombia have been frosty for some years. Part of the reasons behind the conflict have been connected to the FARC guerilla.

The Colombian government has argued that Venezuela has allowed FARC forces to hide in its territory.

But in recent years the two ideologically opposed regimes in Bogota and Caracas have conducted a thaw in their relations since the election of a new president in Colombia last year - Juan Manuel Santos.

The deportation on Monday night was the result of a telephone call between Santos and his colleague Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Reuters reported. Santos asked Chavez to allow the arrest of the Swede.

The man is suspected of having financed the FARC's operations, according to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

The man flew from Stockholm to Venezuela via Frankfurt on Saturday.

Story continues below…

Evidence in the form of hundreds of emails are reported to have been found in a computer which belonged to the rebel leader Raul Reyes, who was killed in Ecuador in 2008.

El Tiempo maintains that the Swede has been active in FARC for over 30 years, although relatives of the man deny these claims, according to Sveriges Radio's Ekot news programme.

The man became a Swedish citizen in 1995, having arrived in Sweden as a refugee a couple of years before. In Sweden he has had responsibility for a Colombian website.

Over the past ten years the man has made several visits to a number of FARC camps.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:31 April 26, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
I love Swedish media. They are truly representatives of top class journalism. Almost all the media around the world, publishes the name of the Swedish journalist. His name is Joaquín Perez Becerra, alias "Alberto Martinez" and he flew to Venezuela from Stockholm where he boarded flight LH809 from Lufthansa, arriving in Frankfurt. From there, he flew to Caracas, Venezuela where he was captured at the airport of Maiquetía.

There are even photos where he is wearing a FARC uniform.
12:03 April 26, 2011 by johan rebel
I'm sure you will love the Swedish authorities as much as their media! As soon as this terrorist is convicted, the Swedish government will do everything in their power to have this so-called Swede tranferred to a cosy Swedish jail, from which he will be released at the earliest opportunity. The Swedish tax payer will happily pay the costs.
13:20 April 26, 2011 by eddie123
if the dude was born in colombia and grew up there, why call him a swede? he holds swedish citizenship as much as he holds same for colombia. he is colombian as much as he is swede. sweden should thus not bother about how he gets treated in his own country particularly if he is supporting an organization that is widely viewed in the west as a terrorist group. the same goes for that eritrean journalist that has been detained for over a decade in eritrea.
14:19 April 26, 2011 by Syftfel
This is surprising. Considering the fact that Hugo is every social dem's darling dictator, and Hugo supports and funds FARC in Colombia, one would have expected Hugo to offer a safe haven to this useless piece of something.
15:46 April 26, 2011 by technoviking
Juholt is going to run on a platform of tax breaks for terrorist organizations to drum up new jobs for immigrants I think...
17:11 April 26, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

Good for you. He is a Colombian with a Swedish passport and nothing else. Perhaps now thay he will face jail, Aftonbladed, Expressen and their lacays, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, will start counting his days in jail and will start demanding his immediate release. It might be that he is converted into another Dawit Isaak. We shall see what we shall see.


If he is extradit to Sweden, he will enjoy a luxury life in jail plus some Mallorca and Menorca trips as a bonus for good behaviour.
22:00 April 26, 2011 by Nemesis
Anyone involved with FARC should be deported from Europe and never be allowed to return.

Drug dealing, protection racketeers such as FARC should never have been allowed into Europe for any reason.
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