On December 31, 2004, Ricardo Palmera, also known as "Simon Trinidad," was extradited to the United States on charges of drug smuggling and kidnapping. Palmera was a senior leader of the Colombian rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). Colombian President Alvaro Uribe agreed to Palmera's transfer to US authorities after the FARC failed to release any of its more than 60 political hostages. Among those held by the group are former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three US citizens, and dozens of Colombian army officers. In July 2007, Palmera was convicted in the US District Court for the District of Columbia for conspiracy to kidnap three civilian Pentagon contractors who were captured when their surveillance plane crashed in Colombia in 2003. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
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Learn more about Colombia and Ricardo Palmera from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on his conviction from JURIST Guest Columnist Tom Burke in Hotline.