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Colombian rebel gets 60 years for role in kidnappings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Colombian rebel leader Ricardo Palmera was sentenced to 60 years in prison Monday for helping hold three U.S. contractors hostage as part of a decades-long struggle with the Colombian government.

Palmera was convicted in July of hostage-taking conspiracy.

The U.S. Justice Department had hoped the conviction and threat of a lengthy prison sentence would help prod the leftist guerrilla group to release the three hostages.

Americans Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell have been held in jungle prisons since 2003.

Palmera, who is better known by his nom de guerre Simon Trinidad, is a senior member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

At trial, Palmera admitted serving as a FARC negotiator.

But he said he never saw the Americans or kept them captive himself.
Colombian rebel gets 60 years for role in kidnappings – found here.

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January 28, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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