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Colombian Rebel Leader Convicted on US Drug Charges


A U.S. jury has convicted a top Colombian rebel leader on charges of smuggling drugs into the United States.

Jurors in a Washington federal court found Nayibe Rojas guilty Tuesday of conspiring to import and distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. The leftist rebel, known as "Sonia," faces a minimum 10-year prison sentence when sentenced in May.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of Justice said Rojas was convicted along with two male co-defendants, Jose Antonio Celis and Juan Diego Giraldo. The statement designated Rojas as the highest-ranking member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to be convicted in the U.S.

Colombia extradited Rojas to the U.S. in 2005 under a deal between the two governments.

The U.S. has given Colombia more than $4 billion in mostly military aid over the past seven years. The Bush administration is seeking an additional $3.9 billion to help Colombia fight illegal drugs and strengthen social programs.

Colombia is the world's biggest cocaine producer.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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