The U.S. Ambassador to Colombia reiterated that he has not received a formal request to release jailed FARC leader Simon Trinidad to join the peace process, according to local media Wednesday.
U.S. Ambassador Peter McKinley stated that no petition has been submitted by the Colombians to release former FARC commander Ricardo Palmera, commonlly referred to as Simon Trinidad, who is currently serving a 60 year sentence in the U.S. for kidnapping.
“Trinidad was convicted of serious crimes in the United States. We currently do not see any change in that perspective,” McKinley was quoted as saying by newspaper El Espectador.
Senior FARC negotiator Ivan Marquez stated Tuesday that he hopes Barack Obama would permit Trinidad’s release, “we are waiting for Simon here (in Cuba). We hope US President Barack Obama pardons him, in an act of justice, in a true act of peace,” said Marquez.
In September the FARC officially named Simon Trinidad as one of the negotiators, despite the obvious logistical difficulties that Trinidad’s participation in the peace talks would entail.
The U.S. has previously allowed extradited leaders of paramilitary organization AUC to take part in Colombian court cases through video conference, but has never allowed the repatriation of a top rebel or paramilitary leader.
Negotiations between FARC and the Colombian government are scheduled to continue on November 15 in Havana, Cuba.