Simón Trinidad Will Remain in Prison, Says U.S.

By Dialogo
December 10, 2012

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) chief, Simón Trinidad, will remain in prison in the United States, Washington confirmed on December 6, after several requests by the Colombian guerrillas to release the insurgent leader, so that he could participate in the peace talk process with the Colombian government.

“Simón Trinidad is a criminal, so he will remain imprisoned,” Mike Hammer, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of State, said in Spanish in an online press conference.

The FARC, under peace negotiations with Juan Manuel Santos’ government, had requested U.S. President Barack Obama to release Trinidad, so that he could participate in the peace talks held in Havana.

Trinidad was extradited in 2004 by Bogota to the United States, where he is serving a 60-year prison sentence for kidnapping three American citizens, who were later released in a Colombian Army operation in 2008, along with former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

The United States is not “part of the Colombian peace process, although we support President Santos’s efforts, because we believe it is very important that the Colombian people can finally live in peace and tranquility,” Hammer added.