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Brazil's Supreme Court Approves Alleged Colombian Drug Lord's Extradition to US


Brazil's Supreme Court has authorized the extradition of suspected Colombian drug lord Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia to the United States to face drug trafficking and murder charges.

The high court voted unanimously Thursday in favor of the extradition, but Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will have the final say on whether Ramirez Abadia will be sent to the U.S.

Brazilian officials have said that for the extradition to go ahead, the United States must promise that if Ramirez Abadia is convicted, he will not serve more than 30 years in prison. That is the maximum sentence allowed under Brazilian law.

Known as Chupeta (Lollipop), Ramirez Abadia was arrested last August in Sao Paulo. He is accused of running Colombia's Norte del Valle drug cartel in the 1990s.

Prosecutors say the cartel shipped about $10 billion worth of cocaine to the United States and ordered the killings of police and informants in both the U.S. and Colombia.

Ramirez Abadia had previously been indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in Colorado in 1994 and in New York in 1995 and 2004.

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

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