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Kidnapped Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera to go on trial in Washington DC

by National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera |
October 2, 2006
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera


Picket line and press conference set for trial opening day, to demand Palmera’s freedom!
October 10 / 8:30 a.m. picket line
9:00 AM press conference
Federal Court Building (333 Constitution Ave., NW)

The National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera will hold a picket line and press conference to coincide with the opening of Palmera’s trial, October 10. The Committee believes that the Bush administration has no legal or moral right to prosecute Palmera.

Palmera, a top-level negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was kidnapped on the streets of Quito, Ecuador and then extradited from Colombia to the U.S. The FARC is Colombia’s largest rebel group and Latin America’s oldest and most powerful left-wing insurgent movement. It has broad support from Colombia’s peasants and workers and controls close to half the countryside.

Ricardo Palmera is being held in a U.S. prison. Palmera is not allowed private meetings with his own lawyer; the U.S. government chose his lawyer; he has no access to the media; he is not allowed to be present at his own trials in Colombia; he can have no visitors; he can communicate with no one.

The context for Palmera’s imprisonment is the U.S. government’s undeclared war in Colombia. The Bush administration has sent U.S. troops and U.S. mercenary contractors. Fighters in the 27,000 member FARC shot down a spy plane with three American mercenaries and is detaining them. This is the pretext U.S. prosecutors use to charge Palmera with ‘kidnapping.’

Before the Bush administration and the so-called war on terror, both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and former Colombian presidents agreed the FARC has no involvement in drug trafficking to the United States. Under the Bush administration however, the U.S. government came up with a drug trafficking case against Ricardo Palmera, along with another indictment naming around 50 FARC leaders. Bush is attempting to criminalize the Colombian national liberation struggle.

In Ricardo Palmera’s legal case, the whole process to date is filled with bizarre judicial actions and rulings from Judge Hogan. Judge Hogan’s antics include advertising in Colombia for the entire leadership of the FARC to show up in his Washington D.C. courtroom.

For further information from the National Committee for Free Ricardo Palmera contact: [email protected]