The Colombian government says a top Marxist rebel leader will be extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges unless rebels free dozens of hostages by Thursday.

Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt issued the warning Wednesday, saying the government will keep its word regarding Ricardo Palmera, a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. 

Earlier this month, officials said Palmera, also known as Simon Trinidad, could avoid extradition if the FARC meets a December 30 deadline to release 63 hostages.  The FARC has not responded to the ultimatum.

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

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.