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Colombia Extradites Rebel Leader to US on Drug, Terrorism Charges


Colombian officials have extradited a top Marxist rebel leader to the United States to face charges of drug trafficking and terrorism.

Ricardo Palmera was handed over to U.S. authorities near Bogota for a flight to the United States. He is the first leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) extradited to the United States.

Earlier this month, officials said the rebel leader, known also as Simon Trinidad, would not be extradited if the FARC met a December 30 deadline to release 63 hostages. The FARC did not respond to the ultimatum.

The FARC had demanded freedom for hundreds of jailed comrades in exchange for the hostages -- who include politicians, military and police officers, a former presidential candidate, three U.S. citizens and a German citizen.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.