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Protest December 3 in Washington D.C.

By National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera

The Sentencing of Colombian Revolutionary Ricardo Palmera

On December 3rd Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera faces sentencing in a Washington D.C. federal court. The National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera will pack the courtroom in support of this brave freedom fighter.

Ricardo Palmera is a peace negotiator for Colombia’s rebels – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The U.S. extradited Palmera to a prison outside Washington D.C. and hold him in solitary confinement – no family, no friends, no reporters, not even his own Colombian lawyer. Palmera only defends his country and fights for freedom and democracy for the Colombian people.

Professor Palmera’s trials are extraordinary. By speaking the truth, FARC leader Palmera has consistently beaten the Bush administration’s prosecutors. Palmera won a victory when the first trial ended in a hung jury. When the U.S. government re-tried Palmera on the same exact charges, Judge Hogan was caught cheating and had to step down. Hogan’s replacement, Judge Lamberth refused to allow Palmera any witnesses. The U.S. prosecutor has dozens of witnesses – paid informants, lying convicted drug runners, and corrupt Colombian government officials. At the end of the retrial, the jury could not find Palmera guilty of “terrorism” charges or a kidnapping charge related to three U.S. military contractors captured and held by the FARC. Unfortunately, based upon the FARC capturing its enemies in combat, the jury convicted Palmera of “belonging to a conspiracy to kidnap”. In another recent “drug” trial, seven American jurors wanted to find Professor Palmera “not guilty”, but a hung jury resulted. The U.S. prosecutor plans to re-try Ricardo Palmera though there is no evidence, only paid informants. Palmera plans to testify and win again. The only fair trial is no trial. The only fair sentence is no sentence.

Tom Burke of the National Committee says, “Ricardo Palmera is a good man who dedicates his whole life to the Colombian people. We oppose the extradition, trials, and imprisonment of Ricardo Palmera because it violates the sovereignty of the Colombian people. Palmera is a political prisoner.”

Angela Denio of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) relates, “Students from across the U.S. are educating themselves and protesting the trials and sentencing of Professor Palmera. We oppose the war in Iraq and we oppose Plan Colombia – the U.S. dirty war that brings poverty, misery, and death to the Colombian people. SDS protests at the U.S. Military’s School of the America’s in Georgia, where the Colombian death squads are trained. An SOA graduate recently testified against Professor Palmera. It is Bush and the SOA that should be on trial! Our campaign to Free Ricardo Palmera is growing and spreading. People are speaking out.”

Burke finishes, “From Baghdad to Bogotá, President Bush’s empire is crumbling around him. At every trial, the rebel leader Ricardo Palmera exposes the lies, distortions, and injustice of Bush and the U.S. Empire. Palmera has beaten the U.S. government again and again. We await Ricardo Palmera’s speech! We say Free Ricardo Palmera!”

Free Ricardo Palmera!

Picket line and press conference to demand Ricardo Palmera's freedom!

Monday, December 3rd, 8:30 AM picket line 9:00 AM press conference

U.S. Federal Court Building (333 Constitution Ave., NW)

For more info contact Tom Burke at 773-844-3612 or Mick Kelly at 612-715-3280.

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