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Paramilitary Leader Can Avoid Extradition to US, Colombian President Says

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe says a paramilitary leader wanted in the United States on drug charges can avoid extradition if he cooperates with peace efforts.

President Uribe said Thursday that Diego Fernando Murillo must cease illegal activities and fully collaborate with justice and reparation to paramilitary victims.

The U.S. ambassador in Bogota, William Wood, said the United States is disappointed, and will continue to push for the extradition of those who violated U.S. laws and harmed U.S. interests.

Mr. Murillo is a leader of the outlawed paramilitary United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, also known as AUC. He is currently in government detention in Colombia.

Since last year, President Uribe has suspended the extradition of AUC leaders who are holding peace talks with the government.

Some human rights groups have criticized the government as being too lenient on those who have committed abuses in Colombia's long-running civil war.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.