Mexico extradites ex-guerrilla kidnapper to Chile

September 23, 2021 GMT

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A former Chilean guerrilla convicted of kidnappings in Mexico has been extradited to his homeland and was formally notified Thursday of possible murder charges in the death of a right-wing senator.

Raúl Julio Escobar Poblete, who had been put on a flight to Chile the day before, was known by the alias “Comandante Emilio” in his home country, but lived in relative obscurity in Mexico for years before his 2017 arrest in the touristy Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende.

He has been serving a 60-year sentence in Mexico for kidnapping a French-American woman, Nancy Michelle Kendall, who was held captive for two months. Authorities say he will be sent back to Mexico to finish that sentence after any legal process in Chile.

Prosecutors say he ran a ring also blamed for kidnapping former presidential candidate Diego Fernández de Cevallos.

Escobar was a member of a guerrilla force, the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front, that fought the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990.

A year after Pinochet left power, the group was blamed for the assassination of Sen. Jaime Guzman, an ally of the former dictator who had been arguing against a measure that would allow amnesty for people convicted under antiterrorism laws.

Escobar was being held at a prison infirmary for a 14 day pandemic quarantine before being sent to a cell and facing a judge.

Authorities have also linked him to the killing of a police officer and the kidnapping of a newspaper owner’s son.