U.S. rejects Chile extradition plea lets leftist leader fly to Sweden
By JACQUELYN SWEARINGEN
States News Service
WASHINGTON--The U.S. government released one of Chile's most wanted fugitives Friday, denying the Chilean government's extradition request.
An Immigration and Naturalization Service agent accompanied Sergio Buschmann, 46, who had been detained since Monday in Anchorage, Alaska, on a midday flight to Stockholm, Sweden, according to INS spokesman Rick Kenney.
A Swedish Embassy official who traveled to Anchorage, political counselor John Hagard, said Buschmann has permanent Swedish residency and should be allowed to return there.
Chilean officials had requested Monday that Buschmann be returned to Chile to stand trial for "serious weapons offenses." Buschmann is a leader of the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front, a Communist guerrilla organization fighting the government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Chilean Embassy diplomatic officer Isauro Torres described Buschmann as one of Chile's most dangerous and wanted political activists.
"We also deplore the statement allegedly made by Mr. Buschmann that the FPMR seeks to overthrow any Chilean government present or future," a State Department statement said of the group that allegedly has ties to Cuba.
State Department and Justice Department officials concluded that the charges under which Chile seeks Buschmann's return were not covered by the terms of the two nations' 1900 extradition treaty. Therefore, U.S. officials could not legally obtain an arrest warrant from a U.S. court, according to a State Department statement.