BOGOTA – Colombia has expelled a Venezuelan student opposition activist and handed him over to Venezuelan authorities, Colombian officials have said.
Lorent Gomez Saleh, president of the NGO “Operation Liberty,” which opposes Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government, was turned over Thursday to Venezuelan immigration authorities in the Colombian capital.
According to a statement by the Colombian Immigration Department, “this procedure, carried out in Bogota city, was performed in accordance with the legal framework and respect for human rights.”
Gomez Saleh was expelled according to a law which allows the “expulsion of foreigners who in the opinion of the immigration authorities carry out activities that threaten national security, public order, public health, social tranquility (and) public safety.”
It is also applicable when a foreign authority communicates to Colombia “that a statement of condemnation or an arrest warrant has been issued against the person for common crimes or is registered in the archives of Interpol.”
Gomez Saleh’s expulsion was criticized by members of the opposition party Democratic Center, led by ex-president and senator Alvaro Uribe, a strong critic of the Maduro government.
“Santos sends students to Maduro who protects terrorists,” Uribe wrote in his Twitter account.