As of today, the National Boricua Human Rights
Network launches the second phase of the campaign
for Oscar López Rivera's freedom!
With a letter, fax and phone-in campaign, the
NBHRN and the Puerto Rico-based Comité
Pro-Derechos Humanos are urging the parole
commissioners to reject the wrong-headed and
politically punitive recommendation of the parole
examiner. We intend to flood the Parol Board with
letters until they respond. We estimate this will
take 6-8 weeks, so every day counts. Please keep
close track of the letters sent/faxed to the
Parole Board. Please forward far and wide and
post and repost. PLEASE SEND OR FAX LETTERS, NOT
BOTH, AS THE PAROLE BOARD WILL BE KEEPING TRACK
OF THEM. Please contact me with any questions.
thank all of you for all of your work on this campaign,
LET'S FREE OSCAR,
Alejandro Luis Molina
Secretary, Board of Directors
Juan Antonio Corretjer
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
2739-41 W. Division Street
Chicago IL 60622
Publishers of La Voz de Paseo Boricua
United States Parole Commission via facsimile 301/492-5543
5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
Re: Oscar López 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. López
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. López 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. López 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. López 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,
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.
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