The Alliance for Global Justice urges our supporters to take immediate action on behalf of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera. We have only five days to act before the Parole Board makes its decision. López is the last of a dozen Puerto Rican activists imprisoned in the 1980s for “seditious conspiracy” for their efforts to free the nation from colonial occupation by the US. In 1999, Pres. Clinton offered clemency to López and most the others, determining that their sentences were excessive. However, López refused the offer since it did not include his comrade Carlos Alberto Torres. Today, Torres is free and living in Chicago, having been granted parole in July, 2010.
López is a Vietnam veteran who, upon his return from the war, became very involved in community activities in Chicago, including organizing against drug abuse and police brutality, advocating for bilingual education facilities, working for civil rights in public utilities and the university system, and helping found the Puerto Rican High School, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, and several educational programs for prison inmates.
López was arrested in 1981, accused of being a member of a clandestine group involved in armed struggle for Puerto Rican liberation. However, he has never been charged with any violent act or found responsible for harming the life, limb or liberty of any person. During twenty years of incarceration, López has been a model prisoner, never accused of violating a single prison rule. López, who recently turned 68, has made it known that if released, he would return to his native Puerto Rico. As it now stands, López will not finish his sentence until 2027, when he is 84 years old.
Alejandro Luis Molina, an activist from Chicago, notes that “You have murderers and rapists freed after 10 to 12 years. On the other hand, you have Oscar López Rivera, who was not convicted of shedding one drop of human blood…in his 30th year of incarceration.”
PLEASE ACT BEFORE FEB. 1ST when the Parole Board meets. AFGJ urges you to do the following:
1) Call the Parole Board at 301.492.5990 Tell them,
Hi, my name is ______________. The Parole Commission should parole Oscar López Rivera# 87651-024 immediately, in spite of the hearing examiner’s recommendation to deny parole.
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.
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.
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.
In 20 years of prison, he has not been accused of a violating a single prison rule.
2. Copy and fax the above phone script as a letter to the Parole Board at 301-492-5543