ROME — Italian leftists and the government gave a hero's welcome Wednesday to an Italian woman imprisoned for nearly 17 years in the United States for a string of armored car holdups and links to a black militant group.
Supporters tossed roses before the motorcade that brought 51-year-old Silvia Baraldini to an Italian prison Wednesday to complete her sentence.
Italy's leftist government sent a private jet to pick up Baraldini after her release earlier in the day from a federal prison in Danbury, Conn. Justice Minister Oliviero Diliberto, a member of the Refounded Communist Party, escorted Baraldini's mother to Rome's Ciampino airport to greet her.
Baraldini was convicted of a series of robberies and attempted robberies in the United States--including a 1981 holdup of a Brink's truck in New York, in which a guard and two policemen were killed. She was sentenced to 43 years in prison, and the terms of her transfer commit Italy to holding Baraldini for at least nine more years.
She is the darling of much of the Italian political left because of her anti-establishment activities and links to black militants who were fighting what they saw as an unjust U.S. government.