Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

20 years too many, free Simon Trinidad now!

By staff

Simon Trinidad. | Fight Back! News/staff

On January 2, 2004, under the orders of the U.S. government and the CIA, Ecuadorian and Colombian forces kidnapped and arrested Colombian revolutionary Simon Trinidad. 20 years detained and imprisoned is 20 too many. That needs to change immediately, and conditions are better than ever for activists in the U.S. and Colombia to push for his freedom.

A member of the revolutionary organization and army of the people, the FARC, since 1987, Trinidad was a leading thinker and peace negotiator. Acting in that role, Trinidad’s and the FARC’s peace-seeking efforts have been routinely sabotaged by the U.S. government and the far-right Colombian oligarchy.

How does a Colombian revolutionary fighting for his own people, in his own country, end up on trial in the U.S.? After four sham trials in Washington D.C., Trinidad was sentenced to 60 years solitary confinement in the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

As Trinidad languished under repressive “Special Administrative Measures” in Colorado, the Colombian peace process bypassed him and was ratified in 2016. This was despite international solidarity activists and the FARC demanding Trinidad be freed to help Colombia navigate the difficult peace. The Colombian Peace Accords did lead to the creation of a special court, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). Now the JEP courts are calling for the U.S. government to allow Simon Trinidad to participate. The JEP wants to question Simon Trinidad in an effort to bring clarity, truth and justice.

There is a transformed political landscape in Colombia with a progressive, former guerrilla, former prisoner holding office. President Gustavo Petro is showing initiative and independence. Petro’s foreign minister, a conservative, is just the person to ask the U.S. government under President Joe Biden to repatriate Simon Trinidad back to Colombia. It is a good move to advance the continuing struggle for peace.

It is in these conditions that the movement to “Free Simon Trinidad!” finds itself. The situation is far more favorable than before. However, “where the broom does not reach, the dust will not sweep itself.”

We need to continue to organize and support Colombian requests to repatriate Simon Trinidad and pressure President Biden to oblige. To date, the JEP has yet to receive a response from the U.S. government since its first communication in March 2023 that it wants access to question Trinidad. Forces are in motion in Colombia, and activists in the U.S. need to do our part to demand freedom for an unjustly imprisoned revolutionary.

Let 2024 be the final year of U.S. imprisonment for Simon Trinidad!

#International #Colombia #InJusticeSystem #PoliticalPrisoners #SimonTrinidad #FARC #Feature