US

Colombian rebel leader wants to see comrade held in US free

  • In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 photo, Martin Corena, acting commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s southern bloc, FARC, addresses his troops in the southern jungles of Putumayo, Colombia. Corena is calling on President Barack Obama to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the U.S. Corena said Ricardo Palmera’s 60-year sentence in connection to the FARC’s holding captive of three American defense contracts was incompatible with Obama’s support for a peace deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 photo, Martin Corena, acting commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s southern bloc, FARC, addresses his troops in the southern jungles of Putumayo, Colombia. Corena is calling on President Barack Obama to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the U.S. Corena said Ricardo Palmera’s 60-year sentence in connection to the FARC’s holding captive of three American defense contracts was incompatible with Obama’s support for a peace deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 photo, rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia southern bloc, FARC, listen to a lecture on the peace process in the southern jungles of Putumayo, Colombia. Martin Corena, the acting commander of the FARC's southern bloc, is calling on President Barack Obama to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the U.S. Corena said Ricardo Palmera’s 60-year sentence in connection to the FARC’s holding captive of three American defense contracts was incompatible with Obama’s support for a peace deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 photo, rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia southern bloc, FARC, listen to a lecture on the peace process in the southern jungles of Putumayo, Colombia. Martin Corena, the acting commander of the FARC's southern bloc, is calling on President Barack Obama to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the U.S. Corena said Ricardo Palmera’s 60-year sentence in connection to the FARC’s holding captive of three American defense contracts was incompatible with Obama’s support for a peace deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 photo, Martin Corena, acting commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s southern bloc, FARC, addresses his troops in the southern jungles of Putumayo, Colombia. Corena is calling on President Barack Obama to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the U.S. Corena said Ricardo Palmera’s 60-year sentence in connection to the FARC’s holding captive of three American defense contracts was incompatible with Obama’s support for a peace deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 photo, Martin Corena, acting commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s southern bloc, FARC, addresses his troops in the southern jungles of Putumayo, Colombia. Corena is calling on President Barack Obama to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the U.S. Corena said Ricardo Palmera’s 60-year sentence in connection to the FARC’s holding captive of three American defense contracts was incompatible with Obama’s support for a peace deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

One of Colombia's most-grizzled and important rebel fighters is calling on President Barack Obama to do more to support peace and to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the United States.

Speaking in his jungle hideout in southern Colombia, the guerrilla commander known by the alias Martin Corena said such a move would be the best way for the Obama administration to back with actions its public support for an approaching deal to end decades of fighting.

"There's been a lot of statements and verbal demonstrations of support, but in practice, up to now, the support of the United States hasn't been viable and hasn't become real," Corena said.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia considers Ricardo Palmera to be a prisoner of war.