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Protest Planed for Second Palmera Trial

by staff |
January 30, 2007
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Washington D.C. - Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera is facing a second trial, March 26. Ricardo Palmera, known in Colombia as Simon Trinidad, is a political prisoner of the George Bush and the U.S. government. Palmera’s first trial resulted in a hung jury and Judge Hogan was forced to declare a mistrial. U.S. prosecutor Kohl and Judge Hogan will need to bend the legal rules more if they are going to win this time.

Palmera, a top-level peace 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. Palmera is being tried under U.S. domestic law for participating in a revolutionary movement in his own country - Colombia.

There is nothing fair about these trials. Palmera is not allowed visits from family, friends, supporters or his own Colombian lawyer. Palmera is held in solidarity confinement and has no contact with anyone. The U.S. government handpicked his lawyer. The media is not allowed to interview him or the lawyers. It is only Palmera’s own testimony that convinced many jurors that the trial was a joke. Jurors were smiling and shaking their heads when prosecutor Kohl was verbally attacking Palmera.

In the first Palmera trial, the U.S. prosecutor was allowed to present as many witnesses as he wanted, including corrupt Colombian military officials and paid informers given free passage to the U.S. Judge Hogan ruled Palmera could not have his two witnesses. One, an official from the U.N. and the other a professor living in exile in Sweden because her associates in Liberal-Left politics were killed by Colombian military death squads. The new trial will be more restricted if the prosecution and judge have their way.

“The U.S. is violating the sovereignty of Colombia by putting Palmera on trial. The trial is an extension of Plan Colombia - the undeclared U.S. war in Colombia. We are protesting the extradition, imprisonment and trial of Ricardo Palmera by Bush and the U.S. government,” said Tom Burke of the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera.

“Our victory last time created more support and we will have a larger protest on March 26. Our protests and our presence in the courtroom had a big impact. We are building a movement for peace and justice in solidarity with Colombia. We look forward to hearing Ricardo Palmera’s eloquent testimony again,” added Burke.

The picket line and press conference to demand Palmera’s freedom will take place March 26, 2007, 8:30 a.m. for the picket line, and 9:00 a.m. for the press conference, at the Federal Court Building (333 Constitution Avenue NW) in Washington D.C.