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Escobar cases could be reclassified as 'crimes against humanity'

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-11-28

Crimes involving the Medellin drug cartel and its late chief, Pablo Escobar, could be reclassified as "crimes against humanity" to enable prosecutors to avoid a 20-year statute of limitations.

AFP - Colombian officials said Thursday they may reclassify some crimes committed by the cartel led by late drug kingpin Pablo Escobar as "crimes against humanity," allowing them to continue to prosecute the offenses.

Deputy prosecutor Fernando Pareja told a press conference that Escobar may have been guilty of crimes against humanity as the mastermind during the 1980s and early 1990s of countless kidnappings, bombings, and even the downing of a passenger jet -- crimes which may have claimed thousands of lives across Colombia.

Designating the alleged offenses crimes against humanity, for which there is no statute of limitations, will allow prosecutors to avoid the 20-year time limit for pursuing some of crimes allegedly committed by the Escobar and other members of his Medellin drug cartel.

One of Latin America's most feared drugs mafiosos, Escobar once supplied most of the cocaine to the United States, while his campaign of random bombings terrorized the Colombian capital of Bogota and parts of the rest of the country.

He was gunned down by Colombian forces in December 1993 at the age of 44 in Medellin, the northwestern Colombian city where his drug operations were headquartered.

Date created : 2009-11-27

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