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Bush administration admits defeat in Ricardo Palmera case

by staff |
May 9, 2008
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Following a State Department request, the U.S. prosecutor asked that all drug charges against Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera be dropped. This follows two mistrials where American juries failed to convict Colombian rebel, Palmera. The Bush Administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars on two lengthy trials where the deck was stacked against Palmera. Professor Palmera is an important negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Angela Denio, a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and a leader with the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera said, “This is an exciting victory. After two mistrials for the same charges, the US Government has finally accepted that any jury will see thorough their contradictory witnesses and repeated lies. After the last mistrial we were asking ourselves “how many times will they retry this man for the same charges?” The Bush administration finally realized it is only embarrassing itself further. This new development lends only more proof to the truth--that neither Ricardo Palmera nor any of the FARC leaders traffic cocaine. This is a fact that the Uribe and Bush governments would like to deny because they are the ones who should be on trial. Plan Colombia must be stopped and Ricardo Palmera freed.”

Ricardo Palmera, a political prisoner of the Bush White House is held under “special administrative measures”--not allowed any visits from family, friends, or supporters. The media is not allowed to interview Palmera and he is held in solitary confinement. Professor Palmera is likely to be moved to a Federal Prison soon.

Better known in Colombia by his nom de guerre Simon Trinidad, Ricardo Palmera was previously handed a sixty-year sentence for belonging to the “criminal conspiracy” of the FARC. The FARC is a 44-year-old revolutionary insurgency that governs large swaths of Colombia and is quietly present in most cities and towns. The FARC is composed of tens of thousands of peasants and working people, supported by millions more, and seeks to overthrow the corrupt wealthy elites backed by the U.S.

Tom Burke of the National Committee said, “The imprisonment and trials of Ricardo Palmera are a violation of the sovereignty of Colombia. The idea that the FARC is a drug cartel is a bigger fantasy than the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Everyone in the U.S. and Colombian governments know this, but they are at war with the FARC and will say anything. The Bush administration fears a revolution in Colombia will stop U.S. corporations from pillaging the oil, the coal, and other natural resources. The Bush White House must be very disappointed with the outcome of Ricardo Palmera’s trials.”

To write and congratulate Ricardo Palmera on his latest victory, address cards and letters to:

Ricardo Palmera
c/o Federal Public Defender for D.C., Robert Tucker
625 Indiana Ave., Suite 550
Washington D.C. 20004