Colombia's Farc call for US release of Simon Trinidad

Farc delegate Ruben Zamora (centre, in sunglasses) carries a life-size cardboard cut-out of imprisoned guerrilla Simon Trinidad before talks in Havana, Cuba, 19 November 2012 Trinidad is serving a 60-year jail sentence in the US for kidnapping three Americans

Related Stories

Colombia's left-wing rebel group Farc have called on Barack Obama to free a guerrilla leader serving a 60-year prison sentence in the US.

Simon Trinidad's presence would bolster the chances of peace talks with Colombia's government, said the group.

Trinidad was named as part of the Farc's negotiating team in September.

The rebels took a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Trinidad to peace talks in Cuba last week, but the US said it was unlikely to free Farc prisoners.

Trinidad was extradited to the US in 2004 and sentenced to 60 years in prison for kidnapping three Americans.

Farc negotiator Rodrigo Granda said: "We are asking the US president to use his powers to pardon, permitting Farc peace delegate Simon Trinidad to be physically present at the negotiating table in Havana.

Five decades of conflict

  • 1964: Farc founded, begins its fight to install Marxist regime
  • 1990s: Farc fighting rival militias as well as troops, and increasingly involved in drugs trade
  • 2002: Alvaro Uribe elected president, promising tough line against rebels
  • 2008-2011: Several senior Farc leaders killed
  • Feb 2012: Farc announces end of kidnapping for ransom

"This humanitarian gesture by the US would be an immense support to Colombia's peace."

Sporadic clashes

Earlier this week, at the start of peace talks in the Cuban capital Havana, leaders of the Marxist group declared a two-month unilateral ceasefire - the first in more than a decade.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have been fighting against the government for half a century, in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Numbering 16,000 in 2001, the rebels are now thought to have some 8,000 fighters.

Farc leader Alfonso Cano, who began the current process with the government, was killed in a bombing and ground raid by government forces last November.

Clashes between the rebels and Colombian forces have continued, despite the signing of an agreement in August spelling out the principles and procedures for the talks.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • An ant and a humanAnts v humans

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Indian coupleSuspicious spouses

    Is your sweetheart playing away? Call Delhi's wedding detective


  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during gun battles manage to flee  from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, 21 September 2013Westgate's questions

    One year on, Kenyans await answers about the mall attack


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • StudentsClick Watch

    Could a new social network help tailor lessons to students’ needs and spot when they fall behind?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.