On the occasion of his 70th birthday, the Communist Party USA, together with Communist and Workers’ parties, and with other political organizations, calls upon the U.S. government to release political prisoner Simón Trinidad. He is presently lodged in a “super-max” prison in Colorado, USA.
Simón Trinidad, a former combatant of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was a prisoner of war. He was captured, with CIA help, in Ecuador in late 2003. At that time the U.S. government was intervening militarily in Colombia under the auspices of its “Plan Colombia.” Trinidad had gained public notice as a peace negotiator in talks with Colombia’s government in 2000 – 2002. Captured, he became a trophy prisoner on that account.
After one year in prison in Colombia, Simón Trinidad was extradited to the United States. Between 2006 and 2008 he faced four trials. He avoided conviction at the first one, but at his second trial Trinidad was convicted of conspiring with a terrorist group, the FARC, to seize and hold hostage three U.S. drug-war contractors operating in Colombia. At his third and his fourth trial the U.S. government failed to convict him of having exported illegal drugs to the United States. At age 57 in 2008, Trinidad received a sentence of 60 years in prison on the terrorist-conspiracy charge.
From 2004 until 2018 Simón Trinidad remained in solitary confinement. For two years, however, he has been allowed to take a mid-day meal with other prisoners. He receives no mail, no emails. Only a few family members are allowed to visit – and they rarely do.
We, the signatories call upon the U. S. government to return Simón Trinidad to Colombia for these reasons:
- Trinidad, like other former combatants, is entitled under the 2016 peace agreement between the FARC and the Colombian government to enter the “Special Jurisdiction for Peace.” Doing so, Trinidad would have the opportunity of telling the truth to judges and, that way, be pardoned for crimes he may have committed during the conflict. Trinidad has been accepted into the program and, therefore, must be allowed to return to Colombia.
- The U.S. government has violated Trinidad’s legal and human rights. Trinidad was extradited as a drug-trafficker, which he was not. His crime was rebellion, which is a political crime. Extradition treaties and international human-rights law prohibit extradition for political crimes. Additionally, the sentence Trinidad received was far out of proportion to the crime he is alleged to have committed. In truth, he is innocent of that crime. And all the while, Trinidad has been subjected to abusive, inhumane conditions in prison.
- Simón Trinidad, a revolutionary, is a class-war prisoner. Trinidad, in common with others in Colombia who struggle against economic and political oppression, dedicated himself to equitable use of land, to the survival and dignity of marginalized Colombians, and to a socialist future. He and they long ago set themselves against Colombian oligarchs and U.S. imperialists. We regard Simón Trinidad as a comrade and take it as our duty to work for his release from prison.
For more information about the campaign to return Simón Trinidad to Colombia, go to https://www.libertadsimontrinidad.com/.
- Colombian Communist Party
- German Communist Party
- Communist Party of Greece
- Communist Party USA