COCAINE CONTRA READY TO TELL ALL
A former Nicaraguan Contra seeking his green card will get an evidentiary hearing to describe in court his US-sanctioned drug-running during the early '80s. In late July, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that Renato Peña Cabrera would be allowed to tell a judge his story.
The court stated: "Peña and his allies supporting the Contras became involued in selling cocaine in order to circumuent the congressional ban on non-humanitarian aid to the Contras. Peña states that he was told that leading Contra military commanders, with ties to the CIA, knew about the drug dealing. Peña believed that the sole purpose of these drug transactions was to help the Contras, and he believed the United States government would not seek to prosecute. The circumstances surrounding Peña's case, including his belief that he was supported by the US gouernment and his alleged reliance on the assurances of the assistant US attorney regarding his immigration status, raise important questions about public confidence in the administration of justice."
Arrested in Nouember 19BH, Peña pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and serued one year in a halfway house. The Department of Justice has been trying to deport him back to Nicaragua and preuent him from appealing the deportation in court.
Steuen Shaiken, the San Francisco attorney representing Peña, is unsure when his client's hearing would be, but expects a date soon. —Preston Peet