Tuesday, February 01, 2011

National Week of Solidarity with Oscar López Rivera

This week can be the determining week for the freedom of Oscar López Rivera. The US
Parole Commission has said they intend to make their decision to confirm or reject
the negative recommendation by the US Parole Examiner on Puerto Rican Political
Prisoner Oscar López Rivera, #87651-024, currently incarcerated at FCI Terre Haute.
Oscar, 68 [...]
Continue Reading


post far and wide-facebook, twitter, etc A Parole Commission spokesperson just told
Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera’s attorney that the decision
whether to parole Oscar could be made by February 1-THAT MEANS WE HAVE 8 DAYS TO
IMPACT [...]

Parole Commission Examiner Recommends No Parole for Oscar

Four members of Congress of Puerto Rican descent sent a letter to the Parole
Commission calling for Lopez, a Vietnam veteran who received a Bronze Star for
valor, to be freed on parole. They noted Clinton’s clemency offer in 1999 and said
they do not believe Lopez poses a risk.
Continue Reading

Alejandrina Torres & Ricardo Jiménez—We are going to free Oscar López!

The two patriots poignantly recounted their own struggles in prison and the
tremendous labor of securing their freedom in 1999—a victory made bittersweet
because compañeros Carlos Alberto Torres, Haydeé Beltrán and Oscar remained
incarcerated. Yet their message remained hopeful…
Continue Reading

Holiday Pasteles Fundraiser—support Oscar and Avelino

Buy delicious holiday pasteles and support the commissary fund for the Puerto Rican
political prisoners Oscar López and Avelino González Claudio. 1/2 dozen ($12) 1
dozen ($21) 2 dozen ($40) 3 dozen ($60) Pork or vegetarian To place an order, please
contact Alejandro Molina, alejandrom@boricuahumanrights.org
Continue Reading

Carlos Alberto Torres is Free!

On Monday, July 26, a group of more than 50 family members, friends, and supporters
of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres drove the grueling 3 1/2
hour drive from Chicago to Pekin, IL to be on hand as Carlos Alberto was released
early that morning. Only his family was allowed to enter the [...]
Continue Reading

Political Prisoners

Oscar López Rivera: A Political Prisoner That History Cannot Forget

by Xavier “Xavi” Luis Burgos
Any student of history could and should be able to communicate that what is placed
in one’s school books is far from objective. Historical events walk along the lines
of power and influence. In our contemporary society, what is considered notable to
tell future generations must reaffirm (and be repackaged to fit the) status quo,
even if appears to be one of dissent. That is why very few people in the United
States know about Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican political prisoner for the last
29 years.
There are very few people who could argue that Puerto Rico is not a colony of the
United States. In a 1922 case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the island belongs
to but is not a part of the Union. Moreover, the U.S. Congress (which only has one
non-voting representative from Puerto Rico) can exercise full powers over the
possession, including overriding any laws adopted by the local legislative body.
This, among other reasons, is why Oscar López Rivera, in the 1960s and 1970s,
struggled for independence in a long trajectory of other movements and figures.
Born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico on January 6, 1943, López Rivera was a part of
the massive migration of islanders in the 1950s, and settled in Chicago. By the
advent of the Vietnam War, he was drafted into the military and earned a Bronze Star
for bravery. Like many other servicemen of color who returned to their communities,
he witnessed extreme forms of poverty, substance abuse, and other manifestation of
racism and inequality. This motivated López Rivera to organize other community
activists and build institutions, initiatives, and programs that still exist today,
like the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, and the
Latino Cultural Center at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Furthermore, he
advocated for fair housing, bilingual education, and an end to police brutality and
racist practices in public utilities. Following the international spirit of the
times, by the mid-1970s he joined a guerilla organization to step-up the pressure on
the U.S. government to address the colonial question of Puerto Rico.
By 1981, he and other alleged members of the organization were arrested for
seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government in Puerto Rico and sent to
prison with disproportionate sentences. All but two of his compatriots were released
by 1999 due to an international campaign that persuaded President Bill Clinton to
offer them clemency. The remaining two were released on parole. Oscar López Rivera
remains in prison despite, like his fellow prisoners, denying being a part of any
acts that killed or injured anyone. More importantly, he was never charged with such
What is interesting is the fact that many U.S. citizens are absent-minded about this
country’s imperial history, while elevating towards sainthood those whose background
are very similar to that of López Rivera. Nelson Mandela, the famed South African
hero of racial equality, is a great example. In the early 1960s, Mandela was one of
the founders and leaders of an armed guerilla group that took responsibility for
multiple bombings on civilian and military installations, resulting in many deaths.
He also spent 27-years as a political prisoner of the white, apartheid system that
sought to destroy the spirit of the black indigenous population. Mandela was never
charged with attacks on human lives, but with seditious conspiracy, just like López
Rivera and his compatriots. Ironically enough, President Barack Obama is slated to
write the forward of Mandela’s new book while ignoring the plight of his
government’s owned political prisoners and colonies. Therefore, it is safe to say
that if anyone believes Nelson Mandela is a historic figure of great stature and
justly represents global struggles of national liberation (which, he indeed, does!),
then Oscar López Rivera should also be out of prison.
On January 5, the U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiner, Mark Tanner, recommended
to the parole board that López Rivera serve his full sentence (slated for 2023) or
serve another 15 years before being released. This was done despite the fact that
thousands of people signed petitions asking for his release, including three
Congress people, the Archbishop of Puerto Rico, the Resident Commissioner of the
island (who does not believe in independence, but in statehood!), and numerous
elected officials in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, and even Haiti. In an act
that uncovers the political nature of López Rivera’s case, the parole board never
responded to the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s request to be at the hearings, but
victims of the bombings that López Rivera was never charged with conducting, were
allowed to testify – unbeknownst to his own lawyer until the day of.
Nonetheless, the parole board still needs to make a final decision and could do so
as early as February 1. Everyone’s voice can be influential.
The National Boricua Human Rights Campaign is asking for petition signatures, faxes
and phone calls to the U.S. Parole Commission everyday, between 9-5pm at (301)

Jan 30, 2011 | National Week of Solidarity with Oscar López RIvera

This week can be the determining week for the freedom of Oscar López Rivera.
The US Parole Commission has said they intend to make their decision to confirm or
reject the negative recommendation by the US Parole Examiner on Puerto Rican
Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera, #87651-024, currently incarcerated at FCI
Terre Haute. Oscar, 68 years old, is presently serving his 30th year of
incarceration for struggling for Puerto Rican independence.
The National Boricua Human Rights Network 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 Parole Board with letters until they respond positively. PLEASE DO ALL THREE of
the following:
1) DAILY CALL-IN CAMPAIGN FOR THIS WEEK (Jan 31-Feb 4): CALL the Parole Board in
support of Oscar Lopez Rivera from 9:00am UNTIL 5:00 PM (EST) CALL and have others
call. It only takes 5 minutes. THE NUMBER IS: 301-492-5990 hit 0 to speak to
operator. Sample script is below.
Hi, my name is ______________ and I live in Chicago [NY, etc.] The Parole Commission
should parole Oscar López # 87651-024 immediately, in spite of the hearing
examiner’s recommendation to deny parole.
1) Oscar has the support of a broad sector of Puerto Rico’s civil society as well as
Puerto Rican and Latino communities throughout the United States.
2) Oscar was not accused or convicted of causing injury or taking a life. He was
never accused or convicted of participating in the 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing or
any other action that resulted in injury or death.
3) 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.
2) Download the letter to mail and fax here (or write your own using that as a
template and place on your letterhead) and send right away. (FAX NO: 301/492-5543)
Remember the Parole Commission has stated their intention to make their decision by
Feb. 4. Get as many of your friends, family. colleagues and forward to your Facebook
and retweet.
3) MAIL Letters to:
Isaac Fulwood, Chariman
United States Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
Re: Oscar López Rivera, #87651-024, FCI Terre Haute
Please keep close track of the letters sent/faxed to the Parole Board and let us
know at alejandrom@boricuahumanrights.org.
Please forward far and wide and post and repost. IF WE DO NOT HEAR OF A DECISION BY
Alejandro Luis Molina

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 29th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

1 comment:

José M. López Sierra said...

Greetings Partners,

We need to work together to decolonize Puerto Rico and free Oscar López Rivera. Join 2 peaceful protests until it is accomplished!

Un abrazo,