The Americas

Nurse accused of forcing abortions on Colombian rebels faces justice

Hector Albeidis Arboleda Buitrago, alias "The Nurse", in Bogota, Colombia on Mar. 9, 2017.

Hector Albeidis Arboleda Buitrago, alias "The Nurse", in Bogota, Colombia on Mar. 9, 2017.  (EFE)

Colombian citizen Hector Albeidis Arboleda Buitrago, known as "The Nurse" of the FARC guerrillas and accused of performing hundreds of forced abortions on female rebels, arrived in Colombia on Thursday after being extradited by Spain, the Attorney General's Office reported.

Arboleda was handed over to Colombian authorities after a formal extradition request made to the Spanish government on March 4, 2016, the AG's Office said in a statement.

In Colombia, Arboleda must face charges for performing forced abortions for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), along with engaging in torture and rape, the report said.

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Spain's Audiencia Nacional - the high court with jurisdiction over international crimes - approved the extradition on Dec. 2, and on Jan. 27, at the request of Justice Minister Rafael Catala, the government gave the green light to handing over Arboleda to Colombian authorities.

According to the extradition order, Arboleda, who also cooperated with the National Liberation Army (ELN) and Guevarista Revolutionary Army (EG) rebels, forced pregnant female guerrillas to drink chemicals to cause spontaneous abortions.

Arboleda, 41, has a degenerative disease and left his homeland in 2005 to request asylum in Spain, which denied that request, although years later he did obtain Spanish citizenship.

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In 2015, he was arrested in Madrid and then released pending his extradition hearing, but - once the Audiencia Nacional agreed to hand him over - he was taken into custody again to prevent him from fleeing.

After being turned over the Colombian authorities, Arboleda was fingerprinted and given a medical exam, and expectations are that in the coming hours he will be sent to prison to await trial, the report added.

Arboleda has not been recognized as a member of any guerrilla organization.