Skip to comments....Capture of Three Members of Colombian Terrorist Group Charged with Hostage-Taking of U.S. Citizen
Posted on 12/07/2009 9:56:55 PM PST by Cindy
Note: The following text is a quote:
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Capture of Three Members of Colombian Terrorist Group Charged with Hostage-Taking of U.S. Citizen
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JOHN V. GILLIES, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Miami Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") and MICHELE M. LEONHART, the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), announced today the arrest of EDILBERTO BERRIO ORTIZ, a/k/a "El Gavilan," ALEJANDRO PALACIOS RENGIFO, a/k/a "El Gato," a/k/a "Yimi," and ANDERSON CHAMAPURO DOGIRAMA, a/k/a "El Tigre," a/k/a "Dairon," three members of the 57 Front of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia ("FARC"), a Colombian terrorist group, who are charged with holding a U.S. citizen hostage for over 10 months.
ORTIZ, RENGIFO, and DOGIRAMA were arrested on these charges yesterday by Colombian authorities at different locations by representatives of the Colombian Department of Administrative Security in the Municipality of Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia.
ORTIZ, RENGIFO, and DOGIRAMA are charged along with six others for their roles in the kidnapping of an American citizen for ransom in April 2008. The superseding Indictment containing the charges (the "Hostage Taking Indictment") was unsealed in September 2009. The Government simultaneously unsealed another Indictment charging five defendants with providing material support to the FARC (the "Material Support Indictment"), two of whom are also charged in the Hostage Taking Indictment.
As alleged in the Indictments:
The FARC was formed in 1964 and is structured as a military organization, with approximately 10,000 armed guerillas organized into seven "blocs," 68 numbered "Fronts" (including the 57 Front), nine named "Fronts," and four urban "militias." The th FARC is dedicated to the violent overthrow of Colombia's democratically-elected government and has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States Department of State. The 57 Front operates in the territory within th Colombia's Choco Department, which borders Panama, and supports the FARC's terrorist activities through narcotics trafficking and kidnapping for ransom, including the kidnapping of Americans and other foreign nationals.
On April 4, 2008, associates of the 57 Front th kidnapped an American citizen in Panama. ORTIZ, RENGIFO, and DOGIRAMA guarded the victim from approximately April 6, 2008, until approximately February 10, 2009. Other defendants authorized and financed the kidnapping, and demanded ransom from the victim's relatives, informing the relatives that they would never see the victim alive again if the ransom were not paid. The victim was released in February 2009, after a member of the victim's family paid the ransom.
ORTIZ, RENGIFO and DOGIRAMA are each charged with two counts of hostage taking, each of which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The Hostage Taking Indictment has been assigned to United States District Judge JED S. RAKOFF. Of the defendants charged in that Indictment not arrested yesterday, one is in the custody of Colombian authorities, and the rest remain at large.
"The FARC poses a grave threat to the security and stability of the Americas, and these arrests are a further step in our efforts to combat narco-terrorism in this hemisphere. Those who seek to take Americans hostage abroad should know that we will aggressively pursue them wherever in the world they may hide," said United States Attorney PREET BHARARA.
Special Agent-in-Charge JOHN V. GILLIES stated, "The FARC is a terrorist organization that has waged a brutal war on the people of Colombia for 45 years. The FBI is committed to doing its part to bringing to justice those that kidnap and hold hostage innocent U. S. citizens for their own selfish aims."
"This kidnapping conspiracy shows the world once again that the FARC is a violent, narco-terrorist organization. It is bent on undermining civil society and threatens innocent civilians in Colombia and other countries. Three FARC members allegedly responsible for this kidnapping are now behind bars, and will soon face justice in a U.S. court of law," said DEA Acting Administrator MICHELE M. LEONHART. "DEA and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate hostage-taking, and we remain committed to hunting down narco-related kidnappers and those who assist them in their reprehensible, criminal enterprises."
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the FBI's Extraterritorial Hostage Taking Squad in Miami, the FBI Attachés in Panama and Colombia, DEA's New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, the Narco-Terrorism Group of the DEA's Bogota Country Office, the DEA's Panama City Country Office, and the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs. Mr. BHARARA also thanked the Colombian Department of Administrative Security, the Colombia Attorney General's Office, and the Panamanian National Police for their assistance.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office's International Narcotics Trafficking Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys REBECCA M. RICIGLIANO and JEFFREY A. BROWN are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
For some reason, unknown to me, the last sentence made me laugh.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Members and Associates of Colombian Guerilla Front...
FBI.gov - DOJ Press Release ^ | September 28, 2009 | n/a
Posted on September 28, 2009 9:40:51 PM PDT by Cindy
Note: The following text is a quote:
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Members and Associates of Colombian Guerilla Front with Terrorism and Hostage-Taking of U.S. Citizen
Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michele M. Leonhart, the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Michael J. Folmar, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Miami Division of the FBI, announced today the unsealing of two indictments charging a total of 12 members and associates of the 57th Front of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), a Colombian terrorist group, with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and taking a U.S. citizen hostage.
The first indictment unsealed today (the material support indictment) charges Luis Fernando Mora-Pestana, aka Virgilio Antonio Vidal Mora, aka Silver and Julio Enrique Lemos-Moreno, aka Andres, who are leaders of the FARCs 57th Front, along with Front associates Harold Ruben Segura Alvarez, aka John Jairo, aka Cientifico; Juanito Cordoba-Bermudez, aka Juanito, aka Chechere; and Cecilio Costa, aka Cesar Perea, aka Costa; with conspiracy to provide material support to the FARC. Juanito Cordoba-Bermudez is in custody in the Southern District of New York. The material support indictment has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Denny Chin.
The second indictment (the hostage-taking indictment) charges Mora-Pestana, Lemos-Moreno; Carlitos Lnu; Alexis Lnu, aka Alexi; Fnu Lnu, aka El Indio; Roque Orobio Lobon, aka Roque Orobio Tobon; aka Mello, aka Tachuela; Edilberto Berrio Ortiz, aka El Gavilan; Alejandro Palacios Rengifo, aka El Gato, aka Yimi; and Anderson Chamapuro Dogirama, aka El Tigre, aka Dairon; for their roles in the kidnapping of an American citizen for ransom in April 2008. Roque Orobio Lobon is currently being held by Colombian authorities. The hostage-taking indictment has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. Mora-Pestana and Lemos-Moreno are the only defendants charged in both indictments.
The remaining defendants in the material support and hostage-taking indictments are at large.
As alleged in the indictments, which were unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
The FARC was formed in 1964 and is structured as a military organization, with approximately 10,000 armed guerillas organized into seven blocs; 68 numbered Fronts (including the 57th Front); nine named Fronts and four urban militias. The FARC is dedicated to the violent overthrow of Colombias democratically elected government and has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State. The 57th Front operates in the territory within Colombias Choco Department, which borders Panama. The 57th Front supports the FARCs terrorist activities through narcotics trafficking and kidnapping for ransom, including the kidnapping of Americans and other foreign nationals.
The hostage-taking indictment relates specifically to the 57th Fronts April 4, 2008, kidnapping of an American citizen. Mora-Pestana authorized financing for the kidnapping, and Orobio-Lobon and others carried out the kidnapping in the Costa del Este neighborhood of Panama City. The defendants held the victim for ransom, which they demanded from the victims relatives, informing the relatives that they would never see the victim alive again if the ransom was not paid. The victim was released in February 2009, after a member of the victims family paid the ransom.
The material support indictment recounts multiple discussions among the defendants regarding FARC logistics, supplies and weapons, as well as the seizures by authorities of a variety of weapons and material during February through September 2008. The material support indictment also covers the aftermath of a Feb. 22, 2008, attack by five FARC guerillas on a Panamanian police patrol boat and their subsequent capture in possession of substantial FARC weaponry and material. Mora-Pestana and Cordoba-Bermudez in particular discussed the FARCs response to the event, and on Feb. 27, 2008, a communiqué, purporting to be issued by a FARC element warned the government of Panama of consequences from its capture of the five attackers and that the 57th Front had been ordered to kidnap Panamanian officials to force an exchange of captives with the prisoners, if the prisoners were not released. Other defendants discussed plans to engineer the five guerillas escape from a Panamanian prison. (Three of the guerrillas involved in the attack on the Panamanian police boat are now in custody in the Southern District of New York on charges relating to that event. Their case is pending before U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley, III). The material support indictment also recounts discussions concerning the April 4, 2008, kidnapping in Panama and efforts to impede that investigation.
Each of the defendants in the material support indictment is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Each of the defendants in the hostage-taking indictment is charged with two counts of hostage taking, each of which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
As alleged in the indictments, the 57th Front is one of the most violent elements of the FARC. This group of guerrillas kidnapped a United States citizen, procured weapons and explosives, and trafficked cocaine to fuel the FARCs terrorist activities, said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The charges unsealed today mark another important step in our efforts to combat international narco-terrorism.
The increased cooperation between the United States, Panama and Colombia that resulted in todays indictments signal our shared, unrelenting commitment to combat drug traffickers and those who support them, said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. No country can tolerate vicious terrorist organizations such as the FARC. We and our partners in Panama and Colombia will continue to pursue the remnants of FARCs 57th Front until its members have surrendered or are captured.
Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Michael J. Folmar stated: The FARC is a terrorist organization that for decades has waged a brutal and inhuman campaign for its selfish aims. This case demonstrates the FBIs firm commitment to bringing hostage takers to justice.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the DEAs New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, the Narco-Terrorism Group of the DEAs Bogota Country Office, the DEAs Panama City Country Office, the FBIs Extraterritorial Hostage Taking Squad in Miami, and the Department of Justices Office of International Affairs. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Colombian Navy, the Colombian National Police, the Colombia Attorney Generals Office and the Panamanian National Police for their assistance in the investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Offices International Narcotics Trafficking Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Rebecca M. Ricigliano and Jeffrey A. Brown are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Ayers Hillary Holder Obama issued a pardon yet?
And approved a special visa for these good people to come guard polling places come 2012?
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