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Super Max Isolation for FARC Leader

By National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera.

Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera is now imprisoned at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado, as reported by the Spanish EFE news service in August. Known as the Colorado “Super Max”, it is a modern dungeon where political prisoners of the U.S. government are kept isolated from all human contact. The treatment is degrading, meant to break an individual's spirit, and defines “cruel and unusual punishment”.

Ricardo Palmera is a leader with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He worked on peace negotiations and the political education of Colombian rebel fighters for more than fifteen years. His extradition, imprisonment, and trials are part of the White House's dirty war in Colombia. Palmera is a victim of the Bush Administration's so-called War on Terror—an unending war that respects no national boundaries and leads to war and oppression around the world.

Starting in October 2006, the Bush administration put Professor Palmera on trial in Washington D.C. Bush thought he could label the FARC as terrorists and drug traffickers. Instead, with everything stacked against him, Professor Palmera convinced American jurors again and again that he and the FARC are rebel fighters with a just cause. Despite four trials and ten separate charges, the only charge that stuck was the one claiming Ricardo Palmera belonged to a “criminal conspiracy”—the FARC—the oldest, largest, and most well respected rebel army in Latin America. U.S. Judge Royce Lamberth unreasonably sentenced Professor Palmera to 60 years. All other charges were dropped at the request of the U.S. State Department. They could not win in their home court in front of American juries.

Ricardo Palmera stands for the poor against the rich, the oppressed against their oppressors. Like all patriotic Colombians, he defends the sovereignty of his country, its independence, and the rights of the people. Professor Palmera has done nothing wrong. He rightfully rebelled against a corrupt, death squad government that represses and kills its own people so a powerful elite can continue to enrich themselves and U.S. investors.

The U.S. government circus is not over yet for Ricardo Palmera. He will face nearly 50 trials in Colombia by videoconference from isolation in Colorado. This method of trial is unfair. The U.S. claims Ricardo Palmera is a criminal, but continues to make special rules and violates U.S. and international norms for court proceedings. There is nothing normal about Ricardo Palmera's trials. Professor Palmera is a U.S. political prisoner.

Free Ricardo Palmera!

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