Colombia Rejects Extradition of Drug Lord to U.S.

United Press International

President Virgilio Barco said today accused cocaine lord Jorge Ochoa Vasquez will serve 20 months in prison in Colombia for illegally importing bulls and will not be extradited to the United States to face drug charges.

Barco said on national television that Colombian laws do not allow the government to grant a request to extradite Ochoa to the United States.

The announcement appears to close the door on the possible extradition of Ochoa, allegedly one of the top leaders of the powerful Medellin cocaine cartel, which U.S. officials say controls 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States.

Carlos Enrique Lehder Rivas was captured in Colombia in February and extradited to the United States, where he is on trial in Jacksonville, Fla., on cocaine smuggling charges. The treaty that allowed Lehder to be extradited has since been overturned by a Colombian court.

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