Chilean communist Manuel Olate says he may seeking civil damages against the Colombian government for defamation. Accused of rounding up money for the leftist military group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, he was detained for three months as a preliminary step to extradition.

But on June 17 Colombia withdrew the extradition request, and four days later the Chilean Supreme Court freed Olate, ruling, however, that the state need not pay defense costs.

Colombia’s backpedalled because its Supreme Court recently discredited evidence against Olate, particularly material taken from computers belonging to FARC leader Raul Reyes, killed earlier by the Colombian military.

Olate had previously told a reporter that the case against him “condemns and delegitimizes communists’ international solidarity, which is part of our way of doing politics.”

For more information see TeleSur or the Communist Party of Chile.


W. T. Whitney Jr.
W. T. Whitney Jr.

W.T. Whitney Jr. grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont and now lives in rural Maine. He practiced and taught pediatrics for 35 years and long ago joined the Cuba solidarity movement, working with Let Cuba Live of Maine, Pastors for Peace, and the Venceremos Brigade. He writes on Latin America and health issues for the People's World.