Immigration officers removed the former Colombian director of intelligence from the U.S. to face charges in his home country for psychologically torturing a journalist.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) officers escorted Enrique Ariza Rivas, 49, on a flight to Colombia where they turned him over to law enforcement officials. The former Colombian director of intelligence will face charges of aggravated psychological torture and other crimes related to illegal wiretapping, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from ICE officials.
“Bringing this criminal to justice highlights that the United States and ICE will not allow criminals to hide behind the protections of our borders, no matter how important their former positions,” Orlando ERO Field Office Chief Counsel Maria Bjornerud said in a written statement.
Colombian officials also charged other members of Colombia’s Administrative Department of Security (DAS) in the same case. The Colombian government dissolved the organization.
“As this removal makes clear, ICE is working closely with its foreign counterparts to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable,” Miami Field Office Director Marc J. Moore stated.
ERO officials worked closely with ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (WRVWCC). ICE established the investigative unit in 200 to enhance the agency’s ability to identify, track, and prosecute human right abusers by leveraging the expertise of a specialized group of agents, lawyers, intelligence operatives, and research specialists.
ICE officials arrested nearly 400 people for human rights-related offenses since 2003, officials stated. In addition, ICE obtained deportation orders and subsequently removed 785 known or suspected human rights violators from the U.S. There are currently more than 160 such cases in process. These cases involve violators from 95 different countries around the globe.
ERO officers developed the case against Ariza in cooperation with Homeland Security Investigations special agents in Bogota, the Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit, and International Operations staff.
Upon Ariza’s arrival in Colombia, HSI agents in Bogota turned the fugitive over to Colombian law enforcement officials.