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Central Florida Puerto Ricans Applaud Clemency Granted To Oscar López Rivera

By Mistman123 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Many central Florida Puerto Ricans are cheering the upcoming release of Oscar López Rivera. Former President Obama last week commuted the Puerto Rican’s prison sentence. To some, López Rivera is a freedom fighter, to others, a terrorist.

Oscar López Rivera was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Chicago as a teen. After serving in Vietnam, he became part of the FALN- an armed revolutionary group fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence.

The group was behind more than at least 70 bomb attacks, the deadliest at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

The son of one of the four people who died in that bombing calls López Rivera an unrepentant terrorist and is upset with the president’s action. López Rivera has been in prison since 1981, and Orlando activist Jimmy Torres is among those who’ve been advocating for his release.

“Justice finally [has] been served to a good man that has spent too many years in jail by the use of an old conspiracy law that separated Oscar for 35 years from his family and from his country,” said Torres.

López Rivera was not tried for murder. He was charged with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government. Those who back him say that’s a political crime and that his sentence was too long.

Oscar López Rivera is expected to be freed in May at 74 years old.


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Crystal Chavez

About Crystal Chavez

All Things Considered Host and Reporter

Crystal Chavez comes to WMFE from Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, Texas. She served as the Morning Edition host in the Alamo City for the past three years. Crystal also produced a weekly radio program called Fronteras, providing in-depth reporting on U.S.-Mexico border issues, immigration and changing ... Read Full Bio »

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