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Colombian political prisoner “Sonia” finally released from U.S. prison

By staff

Washington DC – The Colombian political prisoner Anyaibe Rojas Valderrama, also known as Sonia, was finally released from her 17-year prison sentence on August 18.

Sonia is from an impoverished rural family in the Department of Huila, Colombia. Her childhood was one of constant work in the fields and her family could only afford to keep her in school through the second grade. She went to school shoeless and spoke about her “first pair of shoes that I remember wearing, I must have been somewhere around 14 years old.”

This poverty, and rampant state violence in Colombia, led Sonia to take up arms and join the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.) Sonia became a respected member of the FARC, serving in its Southern Block defending rural communities against paramilitary terror and Colombian military aggression.

In 2004 Colombia began to extradite captured FARC members to the United States as part of the joint U.S.-Colombian war against Colombian rebels. The U.S. extradited Sonia and Simón Trinidad – a political prisoner now serving a 60-year sentence in the Florence, Colorado supermax prison – and several others.

Many observers believed that Sonia’s trial in Washington DC was unfair, as several non-credible witnesses were presented by the government and the defense was prevented from presenting important evidence of her innocence. Sonia was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 18 years in prison on July 2, 2007.

This Colombian political prisoner was then sent to FMC Carswell, the highest security prison for women in the United States, located in Fort Worth, Texas. Sonia was released to the custody of the immigration authorities on August 18, 2018, having completed her sentence.

To send Sonia letters of support, donations, etc. write her at the following address:

Anayibe Rojas Valderrama A 216-310-450 Prairieland Detention Center Sunflower Lane Alvarado, TX 76009

Sonia is now incarcerated in the above immigration detention center waiting to return to Colombia. This political prisoner is depending on the Consulate of Colombia to give the U.S. immigration authorities her travel documents so that she can be sent to Colombia and be released. There are concerns that her liberation could be delayed as the Colombian Consulate has dragged its feet in the past on providing travel documents to dissident Colombian citizens in the United States. Sonia’s supporters look forward to seeing her free again on her native soil.

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