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political prisoners of the war on the poor
serving in north american prisons ~ 2008


            brought to the u.s., subjected to american justice, placed in american prisons as part of the war against the poor


march 31, 2008, updates as noted :
historical note on farc: as colombia fell under military and fascist rule after 1948, leftists formed the "marquetalia republic" and other communes inland; these were targeted by the c.i.a. operation laso and taken over by colombian military forces in 1964; the left regrouped and formed the new farc (revolutionary armed forces of colombia) as a guerrilla force (an earlier guerrilla farc associated with dumar aljure is alluded to as "liberal guerilla"); though farc may currently control thirty percent of colombia it's always associated with drug interests in the north american press; colombia is said to supply half the world's cocaine; what seems different about farc is that it's concerned with a majority of the colombian people whose income is minimal while the government is likely to represent the wealthy; according to paul wolf's "the farc indictment" (may 8, 2006, upside down world ~znet) the u.s. has set aside 75 million dollars in reward money alone for information leading to the capture of farc leadership; 50 farc leaders were indicted by the u.s. and are likely to be extradicted to the u.s. if captured; according to china daily. pablo montoya, a farc guerilla for 16 years killed ivan rios, the organization's 7th in command and took the severed hand to authorities to collect 2.6 million dollars in reward money ("colombia rebels not to release key hostages," xinhua, march 11, 2008, china daily; "marquetalia republic," sept. 29, 2007, wikipedia; "the farc indictment," paul wolf, may 8, 2006, upside down world ~znet; "revolutionary armed forces of colombia," march 31, 2008, wikipedia; passim); farc is currently considered a "terrorist organization" by canada, the u.s., allies, and the colombian rulers they support.
juvenal ovidio ricardo palmero pineda war name: "simon trinidad"; son of a law professor, a professor of economics, banker, and negotiator, he is a member of farc; simon trinidad was captured in ecuador, january 2004, rendered to colombia, extradited to the u.s. at the end of 2004; he was accused of drug trafficking, terrorism and taking hostages; these are not convincing charges; his lawyers have argued correctly that he's a prisoner of war; in the states he's held in solitary without access to his colombian lawyer; he was blamed for farc's supposed kidnapping of several americans; the first u.s. jury was deadlocked and wouldn't convict him; the second became deadlocked on four of five charges allowing his conviction on 'conspiring to kidnap' the several u.s. pentagon contractors whose plane crashed mid-operation into farc territory; sentencing was to be affected by whether farc in colombia freed hostages but it didn't; on january 28, 2008, the judge of the d.c. federal district court sentenced simon trinidad to 60 years, no parole; the charge and the sentence signal a serious misuse of u.s. law enforcement and courts ~ u.s. domestic law is being used to serve a military tactic in a colonialist war (a report of simon trinidad's statement at sentencing is available here: [access:< >]); in his third u.s. trial for drug trafficking simon trinidad was almost aquitted but the jury deadlocked ("simon trinidad," march 27, 2008, wikipedia [access: < >]; see the national committee to free ricardo palmera [access: < >]; "farc negotiator gets colombia's max - in us prison," january 28, 2008, ww4 report with thanks to paul wolf); his fourth trial was to have taken place march 2008; no news of it is currently available; during march the colombian military killed twenty-six people in a farc camp over the border in ecuador, including raśl reyes, a leading farc peace negotiator (aside from simon trinidad in a u.s. prison); reyes was in negotiations with french ministry envoys trying to free a hostage, and the raid suggests strongly that the camp's location and reyes' presence were betrayed by the process of peace negotation with the sarkhozy government; colombia's peace commissioner, luis carlos restrepo, knew of the location and lethal action since he warned french negotiators not to honour their appointment the day reyes was killed; it is likely president uribe knew as well ("french negotiators were to meet reyes the day he was killed," ips march 7, 2008, inter press service); the killing then is a violation of law, military code, and honour, and any conventions of peace and hostage negotiation; the u.s., e.u., colombian rulers' alliance seems intent on destroying farc's peace negotiators; an explanation for the lack of news about simon trinidad's supposed re-trial, is that current pressure in negotiations for hostage release would ask the release of both simon trinidad and sonia ( see below) from u.s. prisons; the u.s. might have to comply with colombian wishes if an agreement is reached; if you think about it, the injustice of inappropriate and inhumane sentencing of political prisoners will only encourage counter measures by any resistance; it is shortsighted to consign guerrilla armies the status of "terrorists" since they are simply one side of a longstanding struggle; similarly, it is shortsighted to arrest and murder peace negotiators; update of may 9, 2008: the u.s. prosecution has requested dismissal of its case against simon trinidad on cocaine trafficking charges; the jury was deadlocked and previously the government has failed to find a jury to convict the accused on drug charges; he was previously found guilty of a kidnapping and conspiracy charge, for which a judge applied the penalty of sixty years in prison (u.s. to dismiss cocaine charges against colombian rebel," matt apuzzo ap, may 6, 2008,; an examination of the single previous conviction suggests extreme government pressure on an american jury.

anayibe rojas valderrama, aka omaira rojas cabrera, war name: "sonia"; nationality: colombia; two years of formal schooling; farc guerrilla, alleged to have controlled a drug production area of colombia; captured in colombia in 2004; turned over to the u.s in 2004; tried in washington d.c. 2007 on narcotics charges, convicted and sentenced to 200 months in prison; her co-defendants, juan diego giraldo received 200 months, and jose antonio celis 175 months ("colombian woman is first farc leader sentenced in us," afp, july 27, 2007, bnet); application of the specific drug charges seem unrealistic; wikipedia suggests she was charged with supplying dealers of other nationalities than american (it's generally conceded though unspoken among u.s. people that the network, transport and distribution of drugs for the u.s. generally operate as adjuncts of the c.i.a. and defense undergrounds)("omaira rojas cabrera," nov. 2, 2007, wikipedia; "high ranking member of colombian farc narco-terrorist organization sentenced on u.s. drug charges," press release, july 2, 2007, u.s. department of justice).

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political prisoners


gerald and maas night's lantern
march 31, 2008
update may 9, 2008
with appreciation to all sources, ed. & commentary by j.b.gerald
painting, a sign, julie maas