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FARC demands repatriation of Ricardo Palmera

Statement by Peace Delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army |
January 19, 2014
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Jan. 18 statement from the Peace Delegation Revolutionary Armed Forces on the imprisonment by the U.S. of Colombian revolutionary, Professor Ricardo Palmera. Known in Colombia as Simón Trinidad, Palmera was kidnapped, brought to the United States and is now serving what amounts to a life sentence.

For more information from the FARC Peace Delegation: http://farc-epeace.org/
For information from the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera: http://www.freericardopalmera.org/

After 10 years behind bars, Simón Trinidad has to be repatriated

"I don't have guaranteed the right to defense; they don't allow me to send documents to my lawyer and judges in Colombia, in which I can prove my innocence; this has to be shown by my compañeros to the government delegation in Havana. They won't even let me talk to the ICRC".

This is the protest of Simón Trinidad, chained and shackled, from the dungeons of the maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, United States, to the judge who is judging him from the city of Neiva, Colombia.

This outstanding fighter of the FARC-EP has already been confined behind the bars of the empire for ten years, without bowing down, without breaking down, without any wavering in his conscience, despite the cruel and degrading treatment he has received by U.S. authorities.

Simón was extradited due to the perfidy of former President Uribe, supreme commander of paramilitarism in Colombia. This sinister figure is Washington's favorite, despite his involvement in international war crimes and crimes against humanity. And Simón was extradited in violation of the constitutional provision which prohibits the extradition of national citizens for political reasons.

Since Álvaro Uribe Vélez couldn't send him to the United States for the charge of rebellion, he fabricated a legal pretext -the false charge of drug-trafficking-, to achieve his repulsive purpose. It was an act of revenge and blackmail, in criminal association with military intelligence and the Attorney General, Camilo Osorio.

Thus, Simón was extradited by the gangster government of Colombia. The country remembers his photo, at the moment he was led by the gringos to the airplane, when he raised his handcuffed fists and shouted: Long live Bolívar, long live Manuel Marulanda, long live the FARC!

There, in the courtrooms of the North, accused in a foreign language, he defeated the lies of the deserters and the false witnesses brought from Colombia, with irrefutable arguments. With the assistance of his public defender, attorney Robert Tucker, Simón Trinidad was acquitted in the U.S. of drug trafficking charges, defeating the manipulation of wicked judges, such as Joyce Lamberth.

But the United States, determined as they were to send a "strong signal" to the FARC, decided to condemn Simón for something he was never involved in: the capture of three gringo mercenaries working for the CIA, after the aircraft in which they were carrying out technical intelligence against the FARC, had been shot down in the Caquetá jungle. To be able to blame him, they falsely claimed that Simón Trinidad was a member of the FARC Central High Command. When the FBI realized that this argument was implausible, they withdrew the evidence of a video of the launching of the Bolivarian Movement for the New Colombia, in 2000. This video had previously been manipulated by them, to make Simón appear as a member of the Central High Command of the FARC.

Still, Simón Trinidad was convicted, after two flawed trials, to 60 years in an underground prison where he can't see the sun, nor does he have the right to see the night. He's in the maximum security prison in Florence, where the worst criminals are imprisoned, and as he is accused of terrorism, which in the United States is the worst of crimes, his rights as a human being are totally violated, every day.

The shameful extradition treaty, by which Colombia transfers its legal sovereignty to a foreign power, reads you cannot condemn an extradited national citizen to life imprisonment. Well, Simon is 60 years old, which means that he would achieve freedom when he is 120. This is, in fact, a life sentence! However, no protest or request has been made by this submissive Colombian government.

Simón is not only buried alive in Florence, Colorado. He's in absolute solitary confinement, there's no appropriate medical care, they took away his glasses and some cards he used to play Solitaire. He is always taken to the court with his hands and feet chained and shackled. he isn't allowed to have any newspapers or books. These were the circumstances in which he received the sad news of the death of his compañera Lucero and their daughter Alix, in a bombing by the CIA in Putumayo. He isn't allowed to access the files for his defense in Colombia, and the embassy in Bogota systematically denies his lawyer, jurist Ramiro Orjuela, a visa to visit him. Meanwhile, the schizophrenic Colombian justice, which opened 104 charges against him, base their accusations on the false assertion that this guerrilla fighter belongs to the Central High Command of the FARC. Neither the government nor the intelligence, nor the Prosecuting Attorney or anyone else has evidence of his participation in the acts alleged against him. There is no evidence, that's why some judges have dropped the charges, declaring him innocent.

From Havana, Cuba, the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP urges the ICRC-Switserland, to carry out a humanitarian visit to Simón Trinidad at the U.S. prison where he is confined.

We urge the Colombian government to enable Simón, as member of the Peace Delegation of the FARC, to dialogue with his compañeros in Havana.

This is an SOS to all human rights organizations in the world, to jurists and experts in international humanitarian law, to political and social organizations of the five continents, the UN, UNASUR, CELAC, the Vatican, churches, Nobel Prizes of peace, well-intentioned people, to call for the immediate release of Simón Trinidad and, in the meanwhile, to demand the U.S. authorities improve his conditions.

The Colombian government has done little or nothing for the release of Simón. It doesn't make gestures of peace as its counterpart does in the peace talks. It doesn't know what reciprocity is, and we encourage it to act decisively. The government should take the legal remedy of exequatur in its hands to have Simón's sentence recognized in Colombia. He could serve his prison term in his homeland and once he arrives there, the judicial authorities could authorize him to go to Havana, to play a leading role in the construction of peace, as we have asked for.

We send an embrace to all our friends in the world, and the message that the spiritual strength and ideological firmness of Simón Trinidad continue unscathed, untouched, above the arrogance of his gringo prison guards.

Simón is the Nelson Mandela of Our America.

Freedom for Simón!

Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP

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