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Colombia expelling suspect in murder of Argentine folk singer
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) ' A Costa Rican man arrested in last year's fatal shooting of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral is being expelled to Guatemala for entering Colombia with false documents, a national police spokesman said Tuesday.
Guatemalan authorities want Alejandro Jimenez Gonzalez, 38, in the July killing of Cabral, and Costa Rica asked that he be sent directly to Guatemala.
He was arrested Saturday by counternarcotics police in a speedboat that Colombia's navy had tracked from Panama into Colombia's waters, said the police chief, Gen. Oscar Naranjo.
"Colombia has no interest in filing charges, but simply to expel him," Costa Rican Attorney General Jorge Chavarria said. "Our intention is that he be extradited directly to Guatemala."
Colombian police spokesman Wilson Vaquero said Jimenez would be expelled to Guatemala later Tuesday.
The Colombian police said in a communique that according to information gathered by Costa Rican security agencies that Jimenez could be a link between the Sinaloa cartel headed by Mexican druglord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Colombian narco brothers Luis Enrique and Javier Antonio Calle Serna.
Naranjo said Colombian police believe Jimenez arranged to enter Colombia with the help of a pair of the brothers.
Costa Rican authorities say Jimenez headed a criminal group that launders money in Central America, and they believe Cabral was the unintended victim of an attack related to a rift over stolen drug money. Drug cartels, some from Mexico, have established themselves in Central America and grow and ship drugs in the region.
Costa Rican Security Minister Mario Zamora told RCN radio that Jimenez's arrest is "important because he is someone who plays a major role in the leadership and direction of organized mafias in Central America."
Zamora has said Jimenez is wanted in Costa Rica for money laundering and drug trafficking.
Cabral, 74, was gunned down in Guatemala in July after giving a concert in the city of Quetzaltenango, 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Guatemala City.
Authorities believe the attack was aimed at Cabral's promoter, Nicaraguan businessman Henry Farina, who was driving the singer to the airport. Farina was wounded when their car was ambushed by assailants in three cars.
Guatemalan officials have said the killers appeared to have had Farina under surveillance for about a week before the July 9 attack and didn't know Cabral was in the vehicle. Three other suspects were arrested last year in Guatemala, but Jimenez remained a fugitive.
Cabral rose to fame in the early 1970s, one of a generation of singers who mixed political protest with literary lyrics and created deep bonds with an audience struggling through an era of revolution and repression across Latin America.