Colombia rebel undergoes tests at Caracas hospital

February 3, 2012 - 7:45 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A Colombian rebel commander who has been detained in Venezuela since May was taken to a military hospital because of health problems, Venezuelan authorities said Friday.

The Prosecutor General's office said in a statement that Guillermo Torres Cueter, better known by the alias "Julian Conrado," was taken to the Caracas hospital on Friday for tests. It said Torres' health is in a "delicate state" and that he underwent various tests, including some to check for possible malaria.

It was unclear from the statement what doctors believe Torres' health problems to include.

The rebel's treatment at the hospital coincided with a visit this week by Colombian prosecutors who are seeking his extradition.

Torres is a commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, who has at times been known to sing and strum a guitar. He was captured last year in southwestern Venezuela, and he is wanted by Colombian authorities on charges of homicide, kidnapping and rebellion.

The Prosecutor General's office did not specify the location where Conrado remains detained. It said he could be taken to the military hospital again if necessary.

Venezuelan Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega said in December that she didn't think Colombia had provided a proper request for Torres' extradition including the relevant evidence. Colombian authorities have since raised their extradition request again.

Venezuela's Communist Party, which is allied with President Hugo Chavez's government, presented a request for political asylum on Torres' behalf in August.

The party called his capture illegal, saying he had been working as a farmer in Venezuela and wasn't armed.