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AFP
January 14, 2019

Italian ex-militant arrested in Bolivia

World

AFP
January 14, 2019

BRASÍLIA: Former Italian communist militant Cesare Battisti, sought by Rome for four murders in the 1970s, has been arrested after an international police squad tracked him down on the run in Bolivia where he faces quick extradition to Italy. Italy has repeatedly sought the extradition of Battisti, who lived in Brazil for years under the protection of former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), who is now in prison for corruption. Battisti, 64, was arrested late Saturday in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Italian interior ministry sources confirmed, where he gave up without a struggle after reportedly being caught disguised in a false beard and moustache. “Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti was detained in Bolivia (Saturday night) and will be soon brought to Brazil, from where he will probably be sent to Italy to serve a life sentence,” tweeted Filipe G. Martins, a senior aide on international affairs to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. During Brazil’s recent presidential campaign the far-right Bolsonaro — who took office on January 1 — vowed that if elected he would “immediately” extradite Battisti to Italy. In mid-December Brazil’s outgoing president, Michel Temer, signed an extradition order for Battisti after a judge ordered his arrest. By then the Italian ex-militant had disappeared and gone on the run. “Battisti was arrested in the street, unarmed and he didn’t resist, responded to police in Portuguese and showed a Brazilian document confirming his identity,” an Italian interior ministry source said. “Now Italy is waiting for him.”

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