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Obama Will Not Pardon Jailed FARC Leader Simon Trinidad

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Jan 9, 2017, 5:12 pm
A high-ranking source in the US State Department has denied the possibility of FARC leader Simon Trinidad's release (
A high-ranking source in the US State Department has denied the possibility of FARC leader Simon Trinidad’s release (Twitter).

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FARC leader Simon Trinidad will not be pardoned by the government of the United States. This was confirmed by the newspaper El Tiempo after obtaining information from a senior official at the US State Department, who denied any possibility that Obama would release the guerrilla as requested by both the FARC and the Santos administration.

Simon Trinidad possible release was first discussed after the guerrillas requested it from the Colombian government. However, it was out of the Colombian government’s hands, as Trinidad is currently in a supermax prison in the United States serving a 60 year sentence for the kidnapping of three Americans at the hands of the FARC guerrillas in southeastern Colombia.

Although Obama has the legal authority to grant a pardon Trinidad, due to special executive powers in the American legal system, he will not exercise his powers on this occasion, according to reporter Sergio Gómez Maseri, who is the Washington correspondent for El Tiempo, and who had first hand information from a United States government source.

Some had hoped that Simon Trinidad could facilitated as a gesture of support from the US government for the Santos-FARC agreement.

Simon Trinidad’s possible pardon by Obama, who has just 11 days remaining in his presidential term, generated outrage from Republican congressmen like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham who warned of possible reprisals against the agreement if the the high-ranking guerrilla was released.

The Republicans mainly threatened to jeopardize the extensive  package of economic aid that the United States plans to offer Colombia in order to finance the implementation of the Santos-FARC agreement. Republicans currently control both the House and the Senate, and have significant power over financial appropriations in the context of foreign policy.

Barack Obama was a strong proponent of the Santos-FARC agreement. It remains to be seen how Donald Trump’s recent election will impact the ongoing negotiations, which were voted down by the Colombian people, and subsequently approved in an altered form by the Colombian Congress.

Source: El Tiempo

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Former Argentina President Kirchner Denies Husband Hid $1.7 Million in US Bank

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Jan 9, 2017, 3:20 pm
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EspañolFormer President of Argentina Néstor Kirchner told the Federal Public Revenue Agency that he had a bank account in the United States, but his wife Cristina Kirchner insists that "they never had an account abroad." The newspaper Clarín confirmed that the deceased president told AFIP he had US $1,700,000 in a US bank in 2002, just three days before assuming the presidency, but that amount disappeared the following year from his affidavits for the Income and Wealth tax, and was never recorded at the Anti-Corruption Office. Despite her husband's statement to the AFIP, Cristina Kichner has asserted that they never had accounts abroad, even taking to Twitter in December to make the point clear. https://twitter.com/CFKArgentina/status/815186681116708864?lang=es Kirchner's tax forms reportedly prove that he had an account in the United States, and are archived in an illicit enrichment case. The Kirchner marriage's bank accounts abroad have been investigated going back as far as December 1995. The first judge of the case Juan José Galeano dismissed it, but in 2005 it was picked up again by federal judge Julián Ercolini. During the investigation, Ercoli reportedly found that Néstor Kirchner extracted US $1,700,000 dollars from the bank in Santa Cruz and deposited it in a United States bank in December 2001. Later, in 2002, he repatriated the money and deposited US $493,350 in a Santa Cruz bank. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   In order to reach the conclusion that the then-head of state and his wife did not participate in illicit enrichment, he analyzed AFIP reports, as well as documents from the National Congress and the Anti-Corruption Office, among documents from other agencies. He also took into account the reports of various local and foreign banks based in Argentina, where the couple had bank accounts and credit cards. "The growth that was evidenced year after year regarding the investigated couple — though it is important to establish an average base of personal wealth— is backed by the regular evolution of the goods that had been there before taking the position," Ercolini ruled in 2005. Later, federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral dismissed the Kirchner couple for the period between 2005 and 2008. 2008 was the most controversial dismissal, granted by the Norberto Oyarbide, which, according to Clarín, was in record time and involved an increase of 158 percent for just that year. Source: Clarín

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