Avelino Gonzalez Claudio returned to Puerto Rico to serve out rest of sentence

From the ProLibertad Freedom Campaign:


Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Avelino Gonzalez Claudio will be returning to Puerto Rico this Thursday December 6th, 2012 to complete the remainder for his sentence, afterwards, he will be completing his probation time.

Avelino will be arriving at 2pm to El Areopuerto Luis Munoz Marin (Luis Munoz Marin Air port) and will be welcomed back to his homeland by a group of people.


For more information on Avelino

Addition to Political Prisoner Database: Norberto Gonzalez Claudio

Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, the most recent captured Puerto Rican freedom fighter, has been added to our database.

Statement on Oscar Lopez Rivera by Attorney Jose Enrique Ayoroa Santaliz

The whole Puerto Rican people, the political right, the center and the left, are prisoners in the same cell with our compatriot from San Sebastián Oscar López Rivera, for more than one reason.

In the first place, because we are all dissatisfied with the current political situation, and all of us, in our way, like Oscar, want to change it.

In the second place, because, representatively speaking, the entire Puerto Rican society believes, and has thus expressed, that serving thirty years in prison, one of the longest sentences in the history of humanity, is enough punishment. That intending that “he has to wait fifteen years more to once again apply for release, or in the alternative, serve the rest of his seventy year sentence,” is an abuse, a cruel and intolerable punishment, when it comes to a human being who is already 68 years old.

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Oscar Lopez Rivera Denied Parole

by Ben Fox from the Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The U.S. Parole Commission said Friday it has denied a request for the early release of a Puerto Rican nationalist who was once offered clemency by President Bill Clinton.

Oscar Lopez Rivera’s first bid for parole after serving nearly half of a 70-year sentence for seditious conspiracy, robbery and other charges was denied, the chairman of the commission, Isaac Fulwood, Jr., said in a statement.

The breakdown of the vote and specific reasons for denial were not released.

“We have to look at whether release would depreciate the seriousness of the offences of promote disrespect of the law, whethr release would jeopardize public safety, and the specific characteristics of the offender,” Fulwood said.

Lopez, 68, can appeal but for now he must serve until at least 2021 under federal sentencing rules, said Johanna Markind, an assistant general counsel for the commission.

His lawyer, Jan Susler, called the ruling an “irrational decision that ignores their own standards” for release. But she had not yet discussed with her client – and wasn’t even sure if he had been informed of the decision – and did yet not know if he would appeal.

“I am outraged,” Sulser said from Chicaco. “I am rally upset that an agency that is part of the Department of Justice of the United States could be so unjust.”

In January, a hearing examiner recommended against releasing Lopez on parole following a closed hearing at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he is held. Still, several members of Congress of Puerto Rican descent and many officials on the island supported his release. Continue reading

University of Puerto Rico Students Clash with Riot Police at University Plaza

UPR on strikeFrom Libcom:

Photo account of the demonstration and attack by riot police during the shut down of the administrative building at the University Plaza of the Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico in the morning of January 13th, 2011.

UPR Students Clash with Riot Police at University Plaza
by CMI-Puerto Rico Friday, Jan. 14, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Spanish source with photos: http://pr.indymedia.org/news/2011/01/46923.php

Translator’s note: For those who haven’t followed, this is the next chapter in a nine-month-long struggle at the University of Puerto Rico. Since the first 60-day long strike last April, students have used an immense variety of tactics with a range of goals and radical visions just as varied. At this point, dialogue has become less and less of an option and both the students and the police have become more direct and militant in their approach. Whether or not anarchists and radicals would agree with their above-ground pleas for dialogue, their consistency and success at shutting down the university over and over and over (almost becoming a habit) should be inspiring.

The rumor about a possible opening of the enrollment process made its rounds among students since last Tuesday the 11th, the day that the Rio Piedras campus reinstated its strike against the $800 fee. In spite of the ambiguous statements made by the university administration to begin the enrollment process on January 13th, the students decided to mobilize the protest towards the University Plaza, where most campus administrative offices are located.
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Second Phase of Campaign to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera Begins!

The National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBCHRN) has launched the second phase of the campaign to free Oscar Lopez Rivera.  Despite an outpouring from people across the US and Puerto Rico in favor of Oscar, U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiner Mark Tanner announced he would recommend that Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar LĂłpez Rivera be denied parole.  Supporters aren’t backing down though.  People are called to join in a mass letter, fax, and phone-in on Oscar’s behalf.  Here is a sample letter written up by NBCHRN.

United States Parole Commission via facsimile 301/492-5543
5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

Re: Oscar LĂłpez Rivera, 87651-024, FCI Terre Haute

Dear Chairman Fulwood, and Commissioners Mitchell, Cushwa and Wilson Smoot:

We were very saddened and disappointed to learn that your hearing examiner recommended denial of Mr. López Rivera’s
parole, and that he either be held in prison until his mandatory release date in 2023 or serve another 15 years before being
reconsidered for parole. We write to urge you to reject his recommendation, and to order immediate release on parole.

We believe the examiner’s recommendation to be unfair, contrary to justice, based on wrong information, and a slap in the face
to the people of Puerto Rico.

The examiner arrived at the mistaken conclusion that releasing Mr. LĂłpez Rivera on parole would depreciate the seriousness of
the offense. In doing so, he erroneously chose to accept the testimony of people who unfortunately suffered as a result of a 1975
explosion at Fraunces Tavern in New York. However, this unfortunate explosion had nothing to do with Mr. LĂłpez Rivera, as he
was not convicted or even accused of participating in that act. Indeed he was not convicted of injuring anyone or taking a life.

These allegations are not new. President Clinton had access to the very same information when he offered to commute Mr.
Lopez Rivera’s sentence under certain conditions which have now clearly been satisfied.

The examiner’s recommendation is evidence of his failure to acknowledge President Clinton’s determination that Mr. López
Rivera’s sentence was disproportionately lengthy, and his offer that would have resulted in Mr. López Rivera’s release in September
of 2009.

The recommendation also fails to take into account the fine examples of Mr. López Rivera’s co-defendants, who are productive,
law-abiding members of society after their presidential commutation in 1999; and it fails to consider this Commission’s 2010
parole of his co-defendant Carlos Alberto Torres after he served 30 years in prison.

Mr. LĂłpez Rivera clearly meets all of the criteria for parole. His immediate parole will not depreciate the seriousness of the
offense, and he poses no risk to public welfare, as evidenced by the overwhelming support for Mr. López Rivera’s parole from
virtually the entire civil society of Puerto Rico, from the Puerto Rico Bar Association to the Ecumenical and Interreligious Coalition
of Puerto Rico (which includes every religious denomination) to elected officials across party lines, including many, like
Pedro Pierluisi, the Resident Commissioner to the U.S. Congress who represents the almost 4 million people of Puerto Rico,
who opposes independence, the ideal to which Mr. LĂłpez Rivera has devoted his life. This is critical evidence which the hearing
examiner erred in overlooking or discounting. This support also includes several members of the U.S. House of Representatives;
prominent personalities, civic and religious leaders throughout the U.S.; elected officials, including from New York, California,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois; and international figures from Haiti, Mexico, and Australia.

Like Javier Jiménez Pérez, the pro-statehood mayor of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico — Mr. López Rivera’s hometown and where
he hopes to make his home once again — we are anxious to welcome him home. We urge you to grant his immediate release.
Thank you.

Name: _________________________________
signature : ____________________________
Street Address : ___________________________________
City , State , Zip : _____________________________________
email : _____________________________________

Hearing Examiner: Oscar Lopez Rivera shound not be paroled

LopezFrom capitalist news:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A hearing examiner said Wednesday he doesn’t believe a Puerto Rican nationalist who once turned down a clemency offer from President Clinton should be paroled after nearly 30 years in prison, the inmate’s lawyer said.

Jan Susler, the lawyer for Oscar Lopez Rivera, said she will ask the U.S. Parole Commission to overrule the examiner’s recommendation, which came after a closed hearing at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

“We are extremely disappointed,” Susler said in a phone interview after the hearing. “There was no justice today.”

Parole Commission officials are prohibited under the organization’s rules from discussing the case, even to confirm the examiner’s recommendation, said Johanna Markind, an assistant general counsel. They only release the final decision.

Markind said hearing examiner Mark Tanner would not be available for comment. “It is inappropriate for a hearing examiner to talk about an ongoing case.”

Susler said that Tanner declared that Lopez’s crimes were too serious to allow release on parole and that he should remain behind bars until at least 2023.

Lopez is serving a 55-year sentence for his conviction on seditious conspiracy, armed robbery and other crimes committed during a violent struggle for Puerto Rican independence.
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Supporters celebrate the release of Carlos Alberto Torres

From Capitalist media:

Just hours after being paroled from federal prison Monday, Carlos Alberto Torres waded through a joyous homecoming awash with Puerto Rican flags in Humboldt Park.

Once on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list, Torres was released after serving 30 years of a 78-year sentence for seditious conspiracy for his role with a violent Puerto Rican nationalist movement known as the FALN.
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The Incarceration of Carlos Alberto Torres


Today, Puerto Rican political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres will walk out of prison after 30 years behind bars. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy – conspiring to use force against the lawful authority of the United States over Puerto Rico. Torres was punished for being a member of an armed clandestine organization called the FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation), which had taken responsibility for bombings that resulted in no deaths or injuries. He was not accused of taking part in these bombings, only of being a member of the FALN.

In 1898, Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States by Spain as war bounty in the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War. Nevertheless, the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico and has occupied it ever since. Puerto Ricans have always resisted foreign occupation of their land and called for independence.
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Puerto Rican Prisoner of War Carlos Alberto Torres to be paroled!

CarlosPuerto Rican Political Prisoner Wins Release on Parole
May 21, 2010

The National Boricua Human Rights Network and the Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico have the great and historic pleasure of announcing that Puerto Rican political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres, after serving 30 years in U.S. prisons for his commitment to the independence of his nation, will be released on parole in July of this year, to reside in Puerto Rico.

This historic release is due to Carlos Alberto’s maintaining his integrity and commitment throughout three decades behind bars, and to the support of the people of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican communities in the U.S., as well as those who support human rights throughout the world. This broad support was key in winning his release, and he is looking forward to expressing his gratitude in person.

For no legitimate reason, he was made to serve almost 11 years more than his compatriots who were released in 1999, when president Clinton deemed their sentences to be disproportionately lengthy. The United States stands out as the country whose political prisoners serve among the longest sentences in the world.

Two Puerto Rican political prisoners remain in U.S. custody. Oscar López Rivera, who this month will mark his 29th year in prison, is not scheduled for release until 2023; and Avelino González Claudio, who this month will be sentenced to a term not to exceed 7 years. While planning the celebration of Carlos Alberto’s release, the National Boricua Human Rights Network and the Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico will continue to work for the release of both remaining political prisoners.

in the U.S.: Alejandro Molina 312/296-7210
in Puerto Rico: Eduardo Villanueva 787/612-7840