Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mayors Association requesting liberation of Oscar López Rivera

December 20, 2010
by Juan A. Hernandez

Mayors from across the island signed a petition
Sunday for the release from prison of
pro-independence activist Oscar López Rivera.

The petition, dubbed the "Comerío Statement", was
signed by members of the Puerto Rico Mayors
Association, who characterized López Rivera’s
incarceration as “ideological punishment.”

“It is high time for this brother, whose only
crime is his activism in favor of Puerto Rico’s
independence, to come back home to his family,”
Comerío mayor Josean Santiago said.

The petition states that López Rivera’s 70-year
sentence makes him a political prisoner whose
conviction is due only for being associated to a
political and military organization that promotes independence for Puerto Rico.

In 1980 López Rivera was convicted of seditious
conspiracy by the U.S. government because of his
alleged involvement with the National Liberation
Armed Forces (FALN for its Spanish acronym), a
Nationalist group linked to several bombings and five deaths during the 1970’s.

López Rivera, born in San Sebastián, is a Vietnam
era veteran and received a Bronze Star medal for
meritorious service. Prior to his conviction
López Rivera was a respected community activist
and Puerto Rican independence leader in the city of Chicago.

Santiago’s involvement in the campaign for the
release of López Rivera came last summer, when he
met the prisoner’s brother José during a visit to Chicago.

“The Puerto Rican community there had dedicated
their main festivities to Comerío and I was
invited to the event. There I met José, who told
me about his brother and the difficulties he
faces in prison. It was hard for me not to feel
sympathy for his sibling,” Santiago said.

“This Puerto Rican brother has spent 29 of his 67
years in a prison just for his beliefs. That is
cruel and extreme punishment. It is time for him to come back home,” he added.

The petition will be sent to the president of the
federal Parole Board, Isaac Fulwood. The petition
reiterates another sent in November by U.S.
Congress members Luis Gutiérrez (Ill), Nydia
Velázquez (NY) and José Serrano (NY) ?all born in Puerto Rico.
“We have to put aside all political
considerations. This is a matter of humanity ?
I’m confident thaat with the support of these
Congress members, along with the support of our
Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi there is a
good chance for us to have Oscar back home with us soon,” Santiago said.

Congressman Gutiérrez, who is visiting the island
during the holidays, anticipated he will present
the petition to the new Congress next Jan. 4th.

“I’m convinced that conditions are favorable for
Oscar’s release thanks to the support of the
Resident Commissioner and the Puerto Rican community,” Gutiérrez said.

1 comment:

José M. López Sierra said...

Saludos Compañeros,

Tenemos que trabajar juntos para descolonizar a Puerto Rico y excarcelar a Oscar López Rivera. ¡Únete a 2 protestas pacíficas hasta descolonizar a Puerto Rico!

Un abrazo,