Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | September 11, 2012

Peace Talks: What’s behind FARC asking for 2 of their extradited leaders to participate?

The FARC have asked for alias Simon Trinidad and alias Sonia, both currently incarcerated in U.S. prisons, to be released in order to participate in peace talks in Habana.

The request raised red flags for those of us who remember the last peace talks held at El Caguan — when the FARC built up militarily while negotiators gave in to FARC requests in order to build trust and goodwill. In fact, a poll revealed 80 percent of Colombians are against imprisoned FARC members being released from any Colombian or American prison in order to participate in the talks.

An even bigger a red flag is former senator Piedad Cordoba’s statement that Simon Trinidad and Sonia should be included in the dialogues. Cordoba is known to be close to FARC heads.

The question becomes: what is the FARC’s motivation in asking to include Simon Trinidad and Sonia?

The decision to release them rests on the International Criminal Court and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Simon Trinidad is serving a 60-year sentence for conspiracy and kidnapping.

Sonia is serving a 16-year sentence for drug trafficking. She was in charge of finances for the FARC’s Southern Block.

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Responses

  1. The reason Trinidad is in prison is for his role as prisoner exchange negotiator last time, so for the FARC its a matter of saving face. There is no less diplomatic gesture than to capture and imprison the other side’s peace negotiator. Sonia was never a negotiator but was extradited at roughly the same time and her case is generally associated with his. I attended months and months of both of their trials. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHWjMvhEGnU

    • Hi Paul- Simon Trinidad was not captured while he was in the role of peace negotiator, if I recall. So if he was no longer in that capacity, and had not been for a number of years, I am not sure I understand the statement “There is no less diplomatic gesture than to capture and imprison the other side’s peace negotiator.”
      – Paula


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