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US Judge Orders Colombian Rebel Leader Held Without Bond

A U.S. federal judge has ordered top Colombian rebel leader Ricardo Palmera held without bond pending trial on drug trafficking and terrorism charges.

Judge Thomas Hogan issued the ruling in Washington Wednesday, saying there was a risk that the 54-year-old Palmera would flee.

The judge's decision comes just days after Palmera, a leader of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, was extradited to the United States.

Last month, the Colombian government warned that Palmera, also known as Simon Trinidad, would be sent to the United States unless the FARC met a December 30 deadline to release 63 hostages. The FARC did not respond to the ultimatum.

The FARC has demanded the release of hundreds of their jailed comrades in exchange for the hostages, who include three U.S. citizens.

Some information for this report provided by APF and AP.