Colombian Rebel Dodges Justice Again

Mistrial declared in US drug-trafficking case against FARC leader
By Asta Hostetter,  Newser User
Posted Oct 5, 2007 3:35 PM CDT
A member of the Colombian National Police marks packages of cocaine...   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The US Justice Department was unable to gain a conviction against Colombian rebel leader Ricardo Palmera, Reuters reports, with a judge declaring a mistrial yesterday after jurors deadlocked on a drug-trafficking charge. Palmera, captured in Colombia in 2004, was convicted in July in a 2003 kidnapping of American contractors, but jurors could not reach a verdict on four other counts.

Simon Trinidad, as Palmera is also known, is the most senior member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—known as FARC—to be tried in the US. The group has waged an often-violent campaign for socialist revolution against the Colombian government for more than 40 years. The Justice Department has asked for a new trial of Palmera.