Today’s edition of the Colombian newsweekly Semana reports that, here in Washington, extradited and convicted FARC leader Ricardo Palmera, “SimÃ³n Trinidad,” is being detained in the same part of the D.C. jail as many of the newly extradited paramilitary leaders.
According to SEMANA’s sources,’Trinidad’ identified himself to his new neighbors and they did the same. Since then, without ever seeing each others’ faces since they don’t leave their cells, they have communicated by shouting. Although very little is known about the content of their chats, it is known that “Trinidad,” as an expert in the ways of the prison, helps his arch-enemies with some basic jail survival advice: the lawyers’ visits, how to get books, what to do if they feel ill, issues of daily life.
Who would have thought: the voices that once gave orders to kill, kidnap, extort, massacre and submerged the department of Cesar and the country in a fratricidal war, today are only heard to instruct about how to care for one’s toilet paper, or how to protect oneself from the winter cold or ease the heat in summer.
Trinidad and former Northern Bloc leader Rodrigo Tovar, alias “Jorge 40,” are both from the small elite of the northeastern Colombian city of Valledupar, Cesar, where they knew each other in the years before they joined their separate armed groups. Now they are together again – but only briefly, as Trinidad will soon be moved to a prison in Colorado.