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Colombia Extradites Top Paramilitary Leaders to US


Colombia's interior ministry says the government has extradited 14 top paramilitary leaders to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.

The ministry says the 14 were extradited because they failed to comply with a peace deal in which they were to stop criminal activities and declare assets to be used to compensate victims.

The peace deal offers former combatants who demobilize reduced prison sentences and other incentives, including an agreement for them not to be extradited.

Last week, Colombia extradited right-wing paramilitary leader Carlos Mario Jimenez to the United States to face charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and financing terrorist groups.

An estimated 30,000 paramilitary fighters have demobilized under Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's government.

Paramilitary groups were first formed to protect landowners from leftist rebel groups. They rely on the drug trade to finance their activities and have been linked to civilian massacres.

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