Colombia’s government on Wednesday approved the extradition of Alvaro Fredy Cordoba, the brother of a senator in the left-wing Pacto Historico party of President Gustavo Petro, to the United States to face drug-trafficking charges.
The decision to extradite Cordoba, whose sister is Senator Piedad Cordoba, follows proposals from Petro to suspend extradition to the United States of drug traffickers who cooperate with law enforcement and leave drug trafficking for good.
“The government today approved the extradition of Colombian citizen Alvaro Fredy Cordoba Ruiz, requested by the court of the Southern District of New York of the United States, for the charge of conspiracy to import narcotics,” Justice Minister Nestor Ivan Osuna said in a video shared with journalists.
Cordoba, who was captured in February in Colombia’s second city, Medellin, can appeal the decision, Osuna added.
Piedad Cordoba described the arrest as “a set up” by Colombian and U.S. authorities.
Petro, who was inaugurated as president in August, has so far approved 17 extraditions, mostly to the United States, despite his criticism of the measure while campaigning.
Extradition has been one of the main tools used by Colombia to combat drug trafficking and is the most feared by drug traffickers.