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Protest planned at Colorado supermax to demand release of Simon Trinidad

By staff

Denver, CO – Friends and supporters of U.S. political prisoner Simon Trinidad will demand “Free Simon Trinidad, Peace for Colombia” at a demonstration outside the Florence, Colorado supermax prison on Sept. 21, at 11:00 a.m. Trinidad is also known in Colombia by his given name, Ricardo Palmera.

Trinidad, a well-known revolutionary leader in Colombia, is being held in solitary confinement by the U.S. government. He is a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) a guerilla insurgency that has been fighting the government of Colombia for over 50 years.

U.S intelligence agents kidnapped Trinidad while he was traveling through Ecuador to meet with a UN official. According to Wikileaks, the U.S. government then rushed to arrange criminal charges with the Colombian government so they could extradite him to Washington. There was nothing ordinary about Trinidad’s four trials in Washington D.C. At the start of the second trial, Federal Judge Hogan had to step down, or recuse himself, when he was caught cheating with U.S. prosecutor Cole.

Tom Burke, with the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera, says, “We protested the political trials in D.C. and now we are going to stand outside the ‘Guantanamo of the Rockies’ in Colorado to demand Trinidad be set free. Trinidad is a political prisoner. He is a good man who fights for the Colombian people to benefit from the natural resources and labor of their own country. He wants to stop Wall Street from robbing and stealing what belongs to the people.”

Peace negotiations, begun in 2012 in Havana, Cuba, are making significant progress towards a final peace agreement according to both the Colombian government and the FARC.

Trinidad, a former university professor, was a FARC peace negotiator in other peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government, including peace negotiations in San Vicente del Caguan, Colombia, from 1998 to 2002.

When the current round of talks began in 2012, the FARC named Trinidad as one of their top five negotiators. The FARC says it cannot conclude an agreement without Trinidad's presence at the talks in Havana.

Spokespersons for the Colombian government, on different occasions, have said that their government has no problem with the release of Simon Trinidad in order to facilitate the ongoing peace negotiations.

The demonstration on Sept. 21 outside the prison will call for President Obama to release Trinidad so that he can take his place at the ongoing negotiations in Havana.

On September 20, at 6:00 p.m., a public informational meeting on Simon Trinidad and the Colombian peace process will take place at the Posner Center, 1031 33rd St, Denver, CO 80205.

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