Free Ricardo Palmera, negotiator for Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

Tony Gosling tony at
Tue Jul 13 01:26:54 BST 2010

Senior FARC figure coaxed to attend peace talks then arrested by US

Facebook control freakery - quick be my friend... before my account 
is deleted!
On the 23rd of June, Facebook closed down a solidarity group for the 
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They also disabled the 
accounts of all 4 admins, arguing their activities were "inciting 
violence." Despite this justification, Zionist groups such as "I 
support the IDF against the Arabs" remain intact.
More recently, a comrade's account was disabled for setting up a page 
supporting the People's War in Peru, and they've deleted the "Boycott 
BP" page with nearly 800,000 fans....

NCFRP's Tom Burke interviewed by RT on the Palmera case


We demand the U.S. government free Colombian revolutionary Ricardo 
Palmera, a political leader and negotiator for the Revolutionary 
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Professor Palmera has done nothing 
wrong. To the contrary, he consistently defends the sovereignty of 
his country, Colombia's independence, and the rights of the Colombian people.

Ricardo Palmera's extradition, imprisonment, and trials are part of 
the U.S. Pentagon's counter-insurgency war. Palmera is the latest 
victim of the Bush Administration's so-called "War on Terror"; an 
unending war that respects no national boundaries and leads to 
repression and death around the world.

Imposing "Plan Colombia", the U.S. government is intervening directly 
in Colombia's civil war -- arming, training, and commanding the 
Colombian Military and backing the corrupt government of a small 
wealthy elite. The Pentagon's Southern Command gives orders to 
Colombia's generals. President Bush has doubled U.S. military 
advisors to 800 and contract mercenaries to 600. The U.S. 
government's dirty war in Colombia costs over $5 billion in 
taxpayers' money. It goes to the Colombian Military and its death 
squads who torture and kill trade unionists, students, and peasants. 
The paramilitary death squads are part and parcel of the Colombian 
state, serving the interests of U.S. corporations like Occidental 
Oil, Chiquita Banana, Drummond Coal, and Coca-Cola. Plan Colombia is 
a plan for poverty, misery and death. It rains down terror upon 
Colombia's poor.

The imprisonment of Ricardo Palmera is a direct result of U.S. 
intervention in Colombia's civil war. The FARC formed in 1964 after 
Colombia's elites and their U.S. allies violently attacked an 
independent peasants' movement. Ricardo Palmera joined the FARC in 
1989 after seeing most of his friends and comrades of the Patriotic 
Union political party murdered or exiled. The Colombian Military and 
their death squads murdered more than 4000 candidates, members, and 
elected officials of the Patriotic Union. Today, the FARC is a rebel 
army of 28,000 fighting for national liberation. It consists mainly 
of peasants and one-third of its fighters are women. However, FARC 
members come from all walks of life, including leaders like Professor 
Palmera. The FARC fight for social justice, seeking democratic social 
and economic change, organizing the poor to overthrow the rich and 
become the rulers of society. The FARC opposes the U.S. Empire -- 
where U.S. corporations steal the oil, coal, minerals, gems, and 
agricultural products that belong to the Colombian people. The FARC 
appeals to the American people to demand peace, not war, from Bush 
and other leaders.

Bush and the U.S. government are desperate. They know the forces of 
revolution grow as "Plan Colombia" fails. To try to salvage their 
dirty war in Colombia, the U.S. State Department rides roughshod over 
Colombian sovereignty. U.S. courtrooms are being used to intervene in 

It is absurd that the U.S. Government has extradited Mr. Palmera on 
the basis of hostage taking and providing material support to 
terrorists. The specifics of the charge concern U.S. contracted 
mercenaries who were shot down in their plane over FARC territory 
while providing "real time" information on the FARC to the Colombian 
Military. A firefight ensued in which one U.S. contractor and a 
Colombian sergeant were killed, while three U.S. mercenaries were 
captured. The U.S. Justice Department is trying to claim that this 
small battle in Colombia's civil war amounts to hostage taking, and 
that the long-running guerrilla war is now a "terrorist" action! This 
makes a mockery of international law, as Bush attempts to impose U.S. 
sovereignty in Colombia.

Professor Palmera's trials are outrageous. At times, it is not just 
Ricardo Palmera on trial, but the FARC in its entirety. In the first 
trial Judge Hogan initially bought advertising space in Colombian 
newspapers and magazines, demanding the FARC appear in his Washington 
D.C. courtroom! They are attempting to criminalize the struggle of 
the Colombian people, but end up looking arrogant and foolish in 
front of the whole world.

Ricardo Palmera is held in solitary confinement -- no family, no 
friends, no reporters, not even his own Colombian lawyer can visit. 
However, by speaking the truth in court, FARC leader Palmera has 
consistently beaten the Bush administration. Palmera won a victory 
when the first trial ended in a hung jury. American jurors could not 
find Palmera guilty on the three "terrorism" charges and the two 
"kidnapping" charges. It was supposed to be a "slam-dunk" for the 
U.S. prosecutors, but turned into a big loss on their home turf.

Next the U.S. government re-tried Palmera on the same exact charges. 
However before the 2nd trial could even begin, Judge Hogan was caught 
cheating with U.S. prosecutor Ken Kohl and had to step down, to 
recuse himself. Hogan's replacement, Judge Lamberth refused to allow 
Palmera any witnesses. The U.S. prosecutor had dozens of witnesses -- 
paid informants, lying convicted drug runners, and corrupt Colombian 
government officials. At the end of the 2nd trial, the jury could not 
find Palmera guilty of "terrorism" charges or the actual 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". Judge Lamberth added every year of time the U.S. 
Prosecutor asked for, producing a 60-year sentence while emphasizing 
his "judicial independence and impartiality". At his sentencing 
Ricardo Palmera gave a moving and heroic speech, defending himself 
and his principles, the FARC and its leadership, and the revolution 
of the Colombian people. Ricardo Palmera's speech will one day appear 
in history books across Latin America.

The third and fourth trials of Ricardo Palmera involved "drug" 
charges, claiming Professor Palmera is part of a vast conspiracy to 
import cocaine to the U.S. This claim is like the "weapons of mass 
destruction" in Iraq. It is the big lie with no evidence. The FARC 
are simply not involved in the production or trafficking of drugs. 
This time, seven American jurors declared Ricardo Palmera "not 
guilty". Another hung jury, another mistrial, but the U.S. Prosecutor 
put Ricardo Palmera on trial again. For the same charges! Another 
million-dollar trial with no evidence, only paid informants and 
corrupt government officials. In this fourth trial, Palmera won 
another hung jury and the U.S. State Department finally gave up and 
requested that the charges be dropped.

+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which 
alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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