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Protest March 26 in D.C.

Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera on trial again

by staff |
March 22, 2007
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Washington D.C. - Ricardo Palmera, a Colombian revolutionary and political prisoner held in solitary confinement by George Bush and the U.S. government, goes on trial for a second time on March 26. The first time, Palmera won a big victory when Judge Hogan was forced to declare a mistrial. Some of the American jurors found professor Palmera’s personal testimony convincing and failed to agree on a verdict. Not satisfied with this outcome, the Bush administration is trying Palmera again for the same charges.

Tom Burke of the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera says, “Ricardo Palmera is a Colombian patriot and freedom fighter who deserves the support of both the Colombian and American peoples. Palmera has done nothing wrong, only to love his country and fight for the Colombian people. As a peace negotiator and arranger of prisoner exchanges for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - the FARC - Palmera’s extradition and solitary confinement in the U.S. is outrageous. The U.S. government is out of bounds. This trial should not be happening. It violates the sovereignty of Colombia.”

In early March, the new Colombian foreign minister, Fernando Araujo Perdomo, demanded that the Swedish government shut down a conference that was hosting a speaker from the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera. The conference proceeded and support for Ricardo Palmera is now being organized in Europe. Back in Washington D.C. at a March 19 pretrial hearing, Judge Hogan discussed radically limiting the scope of Palmera’s testimony in his upcoming trial.

Burke commented, “This trial will be grossly unfair. It will be difficult to win. Judge Hogan is seeking to gag Professor Palmera - to not allow the same testimony as the first trial. The American jurors were swayed by Palmera’s words and understood he is no criminal. That Palmera is a man who chose to fight for the people, for liberty and equality. The jurors understood Palmera’s only alternatives were exile or worse - a violent death at the hands of right-wing paramilitaries. In the first trial, Professor Palmera cleverly put U.S. intervention and the undeclared U.S. war in Colombia on trial. Judge Hogan will do everything in his power to make sure the U.S. prosecutor wins this time.”

Free Ricardo Palmera!
Picket line and press conference for Ricardo Palmera’s freedom!
March 26, 2007 / 8:30 a.m. picket line / 9:00 a.m. press conference
Federal Court Building (333 Constitution Ave. NW)

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