By Carlos Camacho.
The Colombian government has said it will deal directly with Juan Guaido, the National Assembly President and acting President of Venezuela, in the case of the arrest in Venezuela of Aida Merlano, a former congresswoman wanted by Bogota, in the most direct challenge to the rule of the Nicolas Maduro regime.
“Colombia, jointly with several Latin American countries, and the rest of the world, does not recognize and because of that, does not have diplomatic ties with the dictatorial regime of Nicolas Maduro,” a release from Ivan Duque’s ministry of justice posted Monday night read in part.
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“When the competent judge requests the extradition of Mrs. Aida Merlano, the National Government will present that request before the legitimate Government of Venezuela, headed by Juan Guaido,” the Justice post added.
Merlano was captured Monday, January 27th in Maracaibo, the capital of Zulia state. Guaido’s Justice ministry has said he will petition Guaido formally for extradition.
In October 2019 the former congresswoman spectacularly escaped police custody when at a dentist’s appointment she climbed out of a window and down a rope to a waiting motorcycle.
In an additional twist, Merlano was captured by FAES, the special forces of the National Police detail accused by the United Nations of being involved in thousands of extrajudicial executions.
Additionally, Justice added that Interpol Venezuela has not confirmed to Interpol Colombia the capture of Merlano. The former congresswoman was serving a 15-year jail sentence for trying to influence an election in Colombia by buying votes.