[News] Parole terminated for former Puerto Rican Political Prisoners

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 1 08:42:40 EDT 2005

For immediate publication

On Tuesday, July 26, 2005, the United States Parole Commission issued 
rulings terminating supervision for Edwin Cortés, Elizam Escobar, Ricardo 
Jiménez, Adolfo Matos, Dylcia Pagán, Alberto Rodríguez, and Alejandrina 
Torres. After 16 and 20 years in prison, followed by five years and 10 
months of successful integration into civil society, they can now live 
their lives without government restriction. Not so for Lucy Rodríguez and 
Carmen Valentín. As for Carmen Valentín, the commission is sending her case 
back for another hearing based on tardy and irrelevant input from the FBI. 
As for Lucy Rodríguez, the commission erroneously interpreted her absence 
from her hearing as a waiver of consideration of her case. We will work to 
ensure that their supervision is likewise terminated.

The Parole Commission's ruling comes as the result of three days of 
hearings in February, during which evidence demonstrated that the former 
political prisoners are highly respected members of the society whose lives 
and careers were adversely affected by the illogical and unjust 
restrictions of supervision. In addition to evidence that the FBI closed 
its investigation of the FALN in June of 2004, the probation officers who 
supervised the nine testified that there is no ongoing law enforcement 
investigation, and that all nine were leading productive and law abiding 
lives since the 1999 presidential commutation of their sentences. Leading 
the evidence to support termination of supervision was a letter from the 
Governor of Puerto Rico, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, who said, "As expressed to 
Chairman Reilly from the [Parole] Commission on August 2004, as Resident 
Commissioner in Washington I felt then, as I do now as Governor, that the 
abovementioned prisoners should not be subjected to supervision as part of 
the commutation of their sentences. The productive lives they have led 
since their release speaks for itself." Other testimony came from all four 
Puerto Rican members of Congress: Jose Serrano, Luis Gutierrez, Nydia 
Velazquez, and Luis Fortuno, as well as from leaders of civil society 
included Julio Fontanet, President of the Colegio de Abogados de Puerto 
Rico (Puerto Rican Bar Association) and Rev. Heriberto Martínez, President 
of the Concilio de Iglesias (National Council of Churches). The Commission 
also heard from other prominent spokespeople such as Dr. Teresa Tió, 
Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture; Dr. Marimar 
Benítez, Chancellor of the Puerto Rican School of Fine Arts; and other 
academic, business and community leaders.

The former prisoners will continue to live their lives committed to the 
independence of their country, caring for their parents, children and 
grandchildren; supporting themselves; and contributing to the betterment of 
society, without the intrusion and restrictions of supervision. 
Appreciative of the support they have always received from the Puerto Rican 
people and other human rights advocates, they urge their supporters to work 
for the release of the remaining Puerto Rican political prisoners Oscar 
Lopez Rivera and Carlos Alberto Torres.

Jan Susler

Attorney for Edwin Cortés, Elizam Escobar, Ricardo Jiménez, Adolfo Matos, 
Dylcia Pagán, Alberto Rodríguez, Alicia Rodríguez, Ida Luz (Lucy) 
Rodríguez, Luis Rosa, Alejandrina Torres, Carmen Valentín, Oscar Lopez 
Rivera and Carlos Alberto Torres

People's Law Office

1180 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL 60622

773/235-0070 ext 118

July 27, 2005

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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