By Jim Kouri
On Friday, Colombia’s President Juan M. Santos appointed popular attorney and law professor Ruth Stella Correa as the nation’s Justice Minister, according to a source at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Correa, a member of the Board of Directors at the Colombian Institute of Procedural Law, takes the reins of the Colombian Ministry of Justice at a time when law enforcement officers and military personnel are battling radical groups such as the radical-leftist terror group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and a number of violent and well-financed drug cartels.
At a ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of Prosecutor General’s Office, Santos announced the appointment of Ruth Stella Correa, saying that she has “dedicated her life to the [pursuit of justice].”
“She has dedicated her life to law. She has gained respect and admiration not only of her colleagues, but of all people with whom she is related because of her transparent and suitable performance,” said Santos in a press statement.
“Correa is a liberal, and first of all she is an important jurist with several business degrees. She is a great manager who will make a large contribution to the government and to the country,” Santos said.
“While she’s considered a leftist by U.S. standards, I see no indication that she shares any of the beliefs of the neo-Marxist paramilitary group FARC, considered Colombia’s biggest security problem,” said a former drug enforcement officer, Lionel Schwartz.
Correa served as a judge in the Judicial Circuit and was a law professor at the nation’s universities, according to the announcement.
Her predecessor, Juan Esguerra, quit his post in June when President Santos refused to sign a controversial justice reform bill.
Meanwhile, drug trafficking links between FARC fronts and the Mexican “Beltran Leyva” drug cartel were highlighted Thursday in a new Colombian intelligence report, according to the Colombia Reports newspaper.
The report said the links between the FARC fronts — the 6th, 29th, 30th and 48th, all operating in southwest Colombia — and the Beltran Leyva organization, headed by Mexican drug lord Hector Beltran Leyva, were initiated and maintained by FARC member alias “Pachecho,” the former number two in command of the 30th Front.
Last year, the Law Enforcement Examiner covered the increased connections between Colombia’s FARC and Islamic terrorist groups seeking new avenues of funding.