[News] NLG International Committee, Presentation to the UN Decolonization Committee on Puerto Rico

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 27 13:02:41 EDT 2014

National Lawyers Guild International Committee

Presentation to the United Nations Decolonization Committee

Hearings on Puerto Rico

June 23, 2014

The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 as an alternative to the 
American Bar Association, which did not admit people of color. The 
oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the 
United States, with headquarters in New York, it has chapters in every 
state. From its founding, the National Lawyers Guild has maintained an 
internationalist perspective, with international work a critical focus 
for the Guild. Its International Committee has organized delegations to 
many countries throughout the world, and Guild members are involved in 
organizations such as the International Association for Democratic 
Lawyers and the American Association of Jurists. Presently, active 
subcommittees exist for Cuba, the Middle East, Korea, Haiti, Palestine, 
Iran, Puerto Rico, indigenous American peoples, and the Philippines, 
among others. Guild members, including myself, have a long history of 
defending activists in the Puerto Rican independence movement. Our 2013 
annual convention was held in Puerto Rico, where our members learned 
first hand about the colonial situation and committed to educating the 
membership regarding the colonial situation of Puerto Rico and the 
political prisoners who remain in U.S. prisons.

I. Colonial status

The unresolved status of Puerto Rico continues to generate controversy. 
Reports from the White House Office of Management and Budget,[1] 
<#_edn1> the U.S. General Accounting Office,[2] <#_edn2>


speculation about yet another non-binding "plebiscite,"[3] <#_edn3> 
disputes about whether Puerto Rico can join international organizations 
such as CELAC,[4] <#_edn4> all lead to what one perceptive journalist 
aptly called "uncertainty"[5] <#_edn5> and ongoing turmoil.

The colonial status must be resolved according to international law, 
allowing the Puerto Rican people to exercise its inalienable right to 
self-determination, without intervention by the U.S., as this Committee 
has repeatedly resolved for the past three decades.

II. Economy

The current conditions in Puerto Rico demonstrate that colonialism is 
not economically viable. A $70 billion public debt,[6] <#_edn6> a debt 
lowered to junk status,[7] <#_edn7> a constitution that requires payment 
of the debt before payment of government workers,[8] <#_edn8> a 
long-lasting recession, rising unemployment -- above 15% -- and falling 
wages,[9] <#_edn9> an ever-increasing cost of living (especially 
utilities),[10] <#_edn10> and 51% of the population on some form of 
assistance,[11] <#_edn11> characterize the situation.

As a consequence of its colonial relationship with the U.S., Puerto Rico 
cannot go bankrupt,[12] <#_edn12> and the White House refused to offer a 
bail out.[13] <#_edn13> Washington did, however, dispatch a flurry of 
advisors to the Island to "offer strategic advice to assist Puerto Rico 
in promoting its economic development and maximizing the impact of 
existing federal funds flowing to the island," all the while insisting 
it was "not a federal intervention."[14] <#_edn14>

In addition to looking to Washington, the colonial administration is 
hoping to lure foreign investment, hosting a summit to highlight the 
benefits of investing in Puerto Rico, "including a law that allows new 
residents to avoid taxes on capital gains, the main revenue source for 
many high-end investors."[15] <#_edn15> Prime property is being swept up 
by billionaire hedge-fund managers and other wealthy foreign 
investors.[16] <#_edn16>

Meanwhile, the colonial administration -- the island's largest employer 
-- imposed an austerity program perceived by many as an attempt to foist 
on to working people the responsibility for balancing the budget. The 
program includes "pension reform" for public sector workers, resulting 
in teacher strikes and litigation.[17] <#_edn17> The recently passed 
Fiscal Sustainability Act will allow the government to exercise 
"emergency powers," including renegotiating public employees' contracts, 
freezing salaries, privatizing the utility companies, and closing 100 
public schools.[18] <#_edn18> Public employee unions have authorized a 
general strike.[19] <#_edn19>

This economic instability has motivated an unprecedented exodus, causing 
a drastic reduction in the population of the island.[20] <#_edn20> More 
Puerto Ricans live in the United States than in the Island, mainly as a 
result of the failing economy.[21] <#_edn21> The departure of many in 
the professional sector has led to the use of the term "brain 
drain."[22] <#_edn22>

These details hardly interest mainstream United States. Rather, what 
consumes the attention of the media, and U.S. commercial interests, is 
their investments.[23] <#_edn23> Said one commentator, "In short, it 
won't be easy. But it might be interesting, at least for those of us who 
are on the outside looking in. For the residents of Puerto Rico, though, 
it will probably just be painful."[24] <#_edn24>

III. Federal intervention

U.S. intervention into the daily lives of the Puerto Rican people 
continues to be a constant. The pattern doesn't seem to change: Federal 
Bureau of Investigation [FBI] and Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] 
raids for fraud,[25] <#_edn25> corruption[26] <#_edn26> and drugs,[27] 
<#_edn27> and Washington funding projects,[28] <#_edn28> all to 
insinuate that Puerto Rico cannot properly manage its own affairs. 
Indeed, the new director of the FBI field office in San Juan as much as 
said so.[29] <#_edn29>

Although the U.S. has historically directed and trained the Puerto Rico 
Police [PRP] -- former FBI agents administered the PRP for most of the 
past two decades -- the U.S. Department of Justice continues its legal 
intervention with the corrupt, violent and mismanaged Puerto Rico Police 
Department, after having issued a report finding, /inter alia/, that 
police committed acts of discrimination, used excessive and unwarranted 
deadly force, conducted unlawful searches and seizures, and regularly 
used tactics to intimidate demonstrators rather than to address 
legitimate threats to public safety.[30] <#_edn30> Implementation of 
reforms -- among the most extensive ever achieved by U.S. DOJ -- [31] 
<#_edn31> has stagnated as a series of monitors and police chiefs have 
withdrawn or resigned from the difficult and expensive task.[32] <#_edn32>

IV. Death penalty

Although the Puerto Rican constitution prohibits the death penalty in 
Puerto Rico,[33] <#_edn33> consistent with its long term ban prior to 
the constitution, and no one has been executed in Puerto Rico since 
1927,[34] <#_edn34> it is one of the jurisdictions with the highest 
number of cases certified by the U.S. Department of Justice for the 
death penalty.[35] <#_edn35> In each of the six trials in which the U.S. 
has sought the death penalty, Puerto Rican juries have refused to impose 
that sentence,[36] <#_edn36> while civic and religious groups 
consistently maintained vigils outside the courthouse.[37] <#_edn37>

It is good to know that "the whole world is watching:" the 12th General 
Assembly of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty just took 
place in San Juan, at the invitation of the Puerto Rico Bar Association, 
featuring a Puerto Rican death row exoneree and many skilled Puerto 
Rican attorneys and activists.[38] <#_edn38>

V. Vieques

Eleven years after the closing of the former live-missile and bombing 
range owned and operated by the U.S. Navy -- a cessation won by decades 
of struggle and a massive campaign of civil disobedience -- the U.S. 
continues to fail to clean up the toxic and lethal substances its 
military left behind at this Superfund site. Recently adopted 
legislation (promoted by Puerto Rican members of Congress representing 
New York districts) requires the Pentagon to disclose the process of 
decontamination and reveal what weapons they used.[39] <#_edn39>

The people of Vieques filed a petition before the Inter-American 
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the United States for human 
rights violations,[40] <#_edn40> and continue to demand in every 
possible forum: 1) environmental clean up and decontamination -- 
thousands of unexploded bombs and other military artifacts still litter 
beaches, mangrove lagoons and the coral reefs/ocean floor around the 
eastern portion of the island;[41] <#_edn41> 2) return of ex-Navy lands 
to the Puerto Rican people (most of the land was transferred to the 
jurisdiction of U.S. Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife 
Service);[42] <#_edn42> 3) sustainable development; and 4) attention to 
Vieques' health crisis (the island suffers 30% more cancer than the rest 
of Puerto Rico, exaggerated levels of diabetes, hypertension, 
cardiovascular ills and other catastrophic diseases).[43] <#_edn43>

VI. Political prisoners

/At 71 years of age and having served 33 years in remote prisons, far 
away from his country, accused of seditious conspiracy, but never having 
been found guilty of shedding any blood, Oscar López Rivera is the 
symbol of a flagrant dishonor for his jailers and an affront to 
democracy that fails to respect human rights. /

Thus began an editorial in Puerto Rico's main daily newspaper on the 
33^rd anniversary of his arrest on May 29 of this year.[44] <#_edn44> 
Oscar López Rivera has served an unprecedented 33 years in U.S. prisons 
for his commitment to the independence and self-determination of Puerto 
Rico, achieving the unenviable distinction of being the longest held 
political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico's independence movement.

At the same time, he has become a unifying force for the people of 
Puerto Rico, from elected officials to religious leaders to college 
students, who all agree that it is time for him to come home -- a 
consensus that only continues to broaden and deepen. His name and his 
face are omnipresent, on murals throughout the Island, on banners on 
stage at recent university graduations,[45] <#_edn45> on teeshirts, 
buttons and bracelets.[46] <#_edn46>

In November of 2013, thousands marched through the streets of San Juan, 
calling on the U.S. president to release him.[47] <#_edn47> Actors, 
musicians and giant puppets enacted Obama signing Oscar's commutation, 
and Oscar reuniting with his daughter.[48] <#_edn48> The main daily 
newspaper's editorial which coincided with the march, urged his release:

It is a decision the president should take already, because every minute 
of prolonging that unjust imprisonment is an act by the United States 
government that constitutes an affront to decorum and a contempt for 
dignity. This cause transcends social, political, religious, community, 
and even international barriers.[49] <#_edn49>

In the spirit of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, a group of 33 women 
mobilize the last Sunday of every month "hasta su regreso," until his 
release, for 33 minutes, organizing women in every sector of society to 
join them: one month it was 33 women teachers;[50] <#_edn50> another 
month, 33 women artists,[51] <#_edn51> yet another month, 33 religious 
women; at Christmas time, even little girls joined the fray.[52] 
<#_edn52> The enthusiastic example of women in Puerto Rico inspired 
creation of a similar group in New York City.[53] <#_edn53>

Oscar's letters to his granddaughter, published regularly in the main 
daily newspaper, have generated much support and have served as the 
source of creativity. In one letter, he spoke of how he missed the 
ocean, which he hadn't seen in over 35 years,[54] <#_edn54> which 
inspired for the 33^rd anniversary of his imprisonment, a dramatic 
symbolic homecoming via the ocean: a giant puppet head of Oscar, 
escorted by a fleet of sailboats and kayaks, disembarked in Old San Juan 
and proceeded to a concert facing the see, "Al Mar X Oscar (To the Sea 
for Oscar)."[55] <#_edn55>

In another anniversary project organized and supported by the country's 
finest athletes and a human rights organization, a core group walked 333 
miles between 33 towns in 33 days.[56] <#_edn56> Often escorted by the 
town mayors,[57] <#_edn57> always housed, fed and entertained by 
townspeople of all political persuasions,[58] <#_edn58> they walked the 
last few miles into San Juan accompanied by hundreds of people calling 
for Oscar's release.[59] <#_edn59>

Also on the 33^rd anniversary, the Senate of Puerto Rico passed yet 
another resolution calling on Obama to release him, declaring, "His 
prolonged imprisonment, far from serving any legitimate purpose, has 
become a signal of inhumanity and injustice."[60] <#_edn60> The main 
daily newspaper published yet another editorial -- this one calling his 
ongoing imprisonment "a betrayal of democracy."[61] <#_edn61>

Building on this solid consensus on the Island, support in the United 
States continues to grow. U.S. based unions, including the AFL-CIO -- 
representing more than 11.5 million workers -- ,[62] <#_edn62>passed 
resolutions calling for his release,[63] <#_edn63> and churches 
similarly expressed support.[64] <#_edn64> In November, hundreds marched 
in New York City,[65] <#_edn65> and just this month, the New York City 
Puerto Rican Day Parade honored Oscar with a special contingent 
featuring "a succession of banners" calling for his release.[66] 
<#_edn66> A parade board member articulated, "we are proud to raise 
consciousness about his case and mobilize our community to support the 
movement for his freedom."[67] <#_edn67> In the U.S. on the occasion of 
the 33^rd anniversary of his imprisonment, demonstrations, rallies, 
bannering and/or pickets took place in many cities, including Chicago, 
New York City, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Orlando, and Fitchburg, 
MA.[68] <#_edn68>

The solid foundation in Puerto Rico has also inspired much international 
solidarity. In a recent meeting with Obama, Uruguay's president José 
Mujica advocated for Oscar's release.[69] <#_edn69> As Venezuelan 
consulates in Antigua, Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Colombia and 
Paraguay called for Oscar's release, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro 
recognized Oscar as "a Caribbean Mandela, he is our Nelson Mandela," and 
called on Obama to release him, "because his only crime is to dream of 
his land being free and independent."[70] <#_edn70> In Cuba, the 
Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin 
America awarded him the Order of Solidarity El Mehdi ben Barka,[71] 
<#_edn71> which evoked from Ricardo Alarcón the observation that Oscar 
is "Obama's Mandela."[72] <#_edn72>

This year many internationalist individuals and organizations added 
their voices to those of Gabriel García Márquez, Desmond Tutu, Mairead 
Maguire, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, and Miguel D'Escoto, calling for Oscar's 
release, including the Non Aligned Movement (at the 16th Summit of Heads 
of State and Government), the American Association of Jurists, the 
International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Congress of the 
Federation of Workers of the Universities of the Americas, and the 
Conference of Afro-Indigenous, Latin American and Caribbean Churches for 

Before concluding, I will pause for 33 seconds, in honor of the 33 years 
-- a third of a century -- Oscar has spent in the service of his 
people's inalienable right to self-determination and independence. 
[PAUSE]. May our work for his release be successful, so that next year 
we won't have to pause for 34 seconds.

"The calendar," Oscar has confided in me, "is not my friend." This 
January, on the occasion of his 71^st birthday, he wrote to his daughter 

I believe in my people and bet on them. They have a huge heart, are 
compassionate, valiant and really love justice and freedom. And it is 
that heart that has sustained us and that has made it possible for us to 
keep up the struggle. We will continue struggling for justice and 
freedom until the day we make of our Homeland a garden of Eden for our 
own enjoyment and for all of humanity. I live profoundly grateful to 
everyone who has come together to demand that the President of the 
nation that has colonized us for more than 115 years practice justice 
and liberty by releasing me. He's not being asked for a favor; but 
rather, it is the people exercising an inalienable right to demand 
justice and freedom.[73] <#_edn73>

Consonant with the demand of the People, it is a propitious moment for 
this august body to once again urge the president of the U.S. to release 
Oscar López Rivera, after an unprecedented 33 years in U.S. prisons for 
having fought for his unwavering commitment to independence and 

VII. Conclusion

The National Lawyers Guild International Committee, incorporating the 
requests sought by the majority of the other presenters before this 
Honorable Committee, urges the adoption of a resolution calling for the 
General Assembly to consider the case of Puerto Rico; and calling on the 
government of the United States to:

* immediately cease the brutality, criminalization and harassment of, 
and attacks on, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement and all those who 
exercise their fundamental rights to expression and association;

* immediately release Puerto Rican political prisoners Oscar López 
Rivera, who has served more than 33 years in U.S. custody, and Norberto 
González Claudio;

* identify and hold criminally liable all those responsible for the 
assassination of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos (2005), Santiago Mari Pesquera 
(1976), Carlos Muñiz Varela (1979), and other militants of the Puerto 
Rican independence movement;

* withdraw the FBI, the U.S. court, and all other U.S. police, 
repressive and military forces and agencies from Puerto Rico;

* withdraw from Vieques, formally return legal property of the land to 
the people of Vieques, cease detonating unexploded ordnance, completely 
clean up the pollution left by the U.S. Navy's 60 year occupation 
through the use of proven, environmentally friendly clean-up methods, 
foster and support a sustainable economy, and compensate the people of 
Vieques for the damage to their health done to them by the same;

* cease and desist from the application of the death penalty in Puerto Rico;

* formally commit to negotiate in good faith with the people of Puerto 
Rico a solution to the colonial condition; and recognize the proposals 
that emanate from a Constitutional Assembly, initiated by the people of 
Puerto Rico, such as that called for by the Puerto Rico Bar Association, 
as the true expression of the aspirations of the people of Puerto Rico, 
and respond to them accordingly.

Dated: June 23, 2014Respectfully submitted,

Jan Susler

People's Law Office

1180 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL 60642


jsusler at gmail.com <mailto:jsusler at aol.com>

On behalf of the National Lawyers Guild

International Committee



^^[1] <#_ednref1>CB Online Staff, "White House OMB report shows status 
costing PR billions in federal funding," /Caribbean Business,/ March 14, 

^^[2] <#_ednref2>"Puerto Rico: Information on How Statehood Would 
Potentially Affect Selected Federal Programs and Revenue Sources, 
GAO-14-31: Published: Mar 4, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2014, 

^^[3] <#_ednref3>"Puerto Rico Plebiscite Is A Waste Of Money, Rightwing 
Think Tank Says,"/Huffington Post/, January 21, 2014, Updated January 
25, 2014, 

^^[4] <#_ednref4>Kevin Mead, "US has final say on PR's role in 
international organizations,"/Caribbean Business/, January 31, 2014, 
("a State Department spokesperson said that because Puerto Rico is a 
U.S. territory, the federal government is responsible for the foreign 
relations of Puerto Rico, including decisions related to its membership 
or other participation in international organizations.").

^^[5] <#_ednref5>José A. Delgado, "Incertidumbre," /El Nuevo Día/, April 
7, 2014, http://www.elnuevodia.com/blog-incertidumbre-1747715.html.

^^[6] <#_ednref6>David Cho, "Puerto Rico may have $70 billion in debt. 
But it didn't have a problem getting a loan," /Washington Post/, March 
12, 2014, 

^^[7] <#_ednref7>"S.&P. Lowers Puerto Rico Debt to Junk Status," /New 
York Times/, February 4, 2014, 

^^[8] <#_ednref8>Yana Kunichoff, "Puerto Rico Unions Threaten Strike 
Against Austerity Budget,"/In These Times/, June 9, 2014, 

^^[9] <#_ednref9>Kevin Mead, "BLS: Employment, wages drop in PR," 
/Caribbean Business/, May 12, 2014, 
Cindy Y. Rodriguez, "Why more Puerto Ricans are living in mainland U.S. 
than in Puerto Rico," /CNN/, March 24, 2014, 

^^[10] <#_ednref10>Cindy Y. Rodriguez, "Why more Puerto Ricans are 
living in mainland U.S. than in Puerto Rico," /CNN/, March 24, 2014, 
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/22/us/puerto-rico-migration-economy/; Lizette 
Alvarez, "Economy and Crime Spur New Puerto Rican Exodus," /New York 
Times/, February 8, 2014, 

^^[11] <#_ednref11>Ellie Ismailidou and Francesca Trianni, "The Next 
Financial Catastrophe You Haven't Heard About Yet: Puerto Rico," /Time 
Magazine/, March 12, 2014, 

^^[12] <#_ednref12>Stephen J. Lubben, "Answer to Puerto Rico's Debt 
Woes? It's Complicated,"/New York Times/, February 6, 2014, 

^^[13] <#_ednref13>Mark Felsenthal, "White House not considering Puerto 
Rico bailout, official says,"/Reuters,/ January 22, 2014, 
Kevin Mead, "White House again says no PR bailout," /Caribbean 
Business/, February 5, 2014, 

^^[14] <#_ednref14>CB Online Staff, "US-PR advisory meetings underway," 
/Caribbean Business/, December 3, 2013, 

^^[15] <#_ednref15>Danica Coto, AP, "Puerto Rico Seeks To Lure Wealthy 
Investors To Help Economic Crisis," /Huffington Post/, April 25, 2014, 

^^[16] <#_ednref16>Katherine Burton, "John Paulson Calls Puerto Rico 
Singapore of Caribbean," /Bloomberg News/, April 24, 2014, 

^^[17] <#_ednref17>CB Online Staff, "Teachers strike over pension 
reform," /Caribbean Business/, January 14, 2014, 

^^[18] <#_ednref18>Yana Kunichoff, "Puerto Rico Unions Threaten Strike 
Against Austerity Budget,"/In These Times/, June 9, 2014, 

^^[19] <#_ednref19>"Puerto Rican Unions Threaten General Strike," /Latin 
American Herald Tribune/, June 4, 2014, 
Ricardo Cortés Chico, "¿Por qué protestan las uniones? Dos sindicatos 
aprobaron hoy voto de huelga,"/El Nuevo Día/, June 17, 2014, 

^^[20] <#_ednref20>José A. Delgado, "Se vacía la Isla: Cerca de 3,000 
personas abandonan el País cada mes y los nacimientos han bajado en 
2,000 por año, /El Nuevo Día/, January 27, 2014, 
http://www.elnuevodia.com/sevacialaisla-1698148.html; CB Online Staff, 
"PR's plunging population in spotlight," /Caribbean Business/, January 
7, 2014, 
CB Online Staff, "Enrollment dropping at PR public schools, 
universities," /Caribbean Business/, May 9, 2014, 

^^[21] <#_ednref21>Cindy Y. Rodriguez, "Why more Puerto Ricans are 
living in mainland U.S. than in Puerto Rico," /CNN/, March 24, 2014, 

^^[22] <#_ednref22>CB Online Staff, "Data: PR 'brain drain' rate picked 
up," /Caribbean Business/, February 3, 2014, 
Ely Acevedo Denis, "Cambia el emigrante puertorriqueño es más educado y 
con más ingresos," /Noticel/, February 1, 2014, 

^^[23] <#_ednref23>CB Online Staff, "Moody's analysis: PR's credit risk 
widens as 'economic turmoil deepens'," /Caribbean Business/, April 23, 

^^[24] <#_ednref24>Stephen J. Lubben, "Answer to Puerto Rico's Debt 
Woes? It's Complicated,"/New York Times/, February 6, 2014, 

^^[25] <#_ednref25>See, e.g., CB Online Staff, "Feds probe ticket fraud 
scheme at DTOP,"/Caribbean Business/, January 16, 2014, 
CB Online Staff, "Feds continue to target PR health fraud," /Caribbean 
Business/, May 9, 2014, 

^^[26] <#_ednref26>See, e.g., Kevin Mead, "Feds: Mafia of dirty PR cops 
'sold' badges for organized crime spree," /Caribbean Business/, May 22, 

^^[27] <#_ednref27>See, e.g., Alex Figueroa Cancel, "DEA realiza 
operativo por narcotráfico: Ejecutan varias órdenes de arresto en la 
zona metropolitana,"/El Nuevo Día/, May 15, 2014, 
Danica Coto, AP, "Feds to target drug kingpins in PR," /Caribbean 
Business/, September 27, 2013, 

^^[28] <#_ednref28>See, e.g., CB Online Staff, "$2.5M in fed funds for 
training in PR," /Caribbean Business/, September 18, 2013, 
CB Online Staff, "EPA $3M to clean Superfund site, /Caribbean Business/, 
November 6, 2013, 
Kevin Mead, "PR gets $104M for public housing work," /Caribbean 
Business/, March 20, 2014, 

^^[29] <#_ednref29>"Secretario de Justicia deplora expresiones hechas 
por el jefe del FBI en Puerto Rico: César Miranda rechazó las críticas 
hechas por Carlos Cases al sistema de ley estatal y a la manera en que a 
veces se procesan casos de criminales," /El Nuevo Día/, March 13, 2014, 
Alex Figueroa Cancel, "Dura crítica federal a acciones estatales que 
culminan en libertad delincuentes violentos: Carlos Cases, jefe del FBI 
en la Isla, recordó casos de asesinos convictos que cumplieron apenas 
meses por los homicidios que cometieron," /El Nuevo Día/, March 13, 

^^[30] <#_ednref30>Belén Fernández, "Puerto Rico's outlaw police force: 
Police in the US territory have been accused of civil rights abuses and 
overzealous crackdowns on peaceful protests," /Aljazeera/, June 26, 
American Civil Liberties Union, "Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico's 
Outlaw Police Force," June 2012, 

^^[31] <#_ednref31>John Marino, "Holder, García Padilla announce accord 
to reform Police Department," /Caribbean Business/, July 17, 2013, 

^^[32] <#_ednref32>"District Court Approves Selection of Arnaldo Claudio 
as Technical Compliance Advisor to Oversee Critical Reforms of Puerto 
Rico Police," U.S. Department of Justice, June 5, 2014, 
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/June/14-crt-604.html; Kevin Mead, 
"Top cop: PR Police Department reform will cost $200M over the next 
decade," /Caribbean Business/, May 9, 2014, 
CB Online Staff, "Still no monitor for PR police reform," /Caribbean 
Business/, May 15, 2014, 

^^[33] <#_ednref33>The constitution came about as part of U.S. Public 
Law 600, which specified that it would only come into effect after 
certification by U.S. Congress. See, César J. Ayala and Rafael Bernabe, 
/Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History Since 1898 /(University 
of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2007), pp. 163-165.

^^[34] <#_ednref34>Limarys Suárez Torres, "Casos de pena de muerte en 
Puerto Rico: Desde el 2003, el tribunal federal ha visto cuatro casos 
para decidir si se imparte el castigo letal," /El Nuevo Día/, March 23, 

^^[35] <#_ednref35>Editorial, "A pasar la página de la pena capital," 
/El Nuevo Día/, April 28, 2013, 

^^[36] <#_ednref36>Caribbean Business Online Staff, "PR cop killer 
dodges death penalty,"/Caribbean Business/, April 12, 2013, 
U.S. courts operate in the English language, thus excluding the vast 
majority of Puerto Ricans from eligibility for jury duty.

^^[37] <#_ednref37>See, e.g., "Concilio de Iglesias reanuda vigilias 
contra pena de muerte," /Telemundo/, March 14, 2013, 

^^[38] <#_ednref38>Inès Oulmokhtar, "AGM focuses on mental health and 
progress in the Caribbean," World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, 
May 16, 2014, 
EFE, "Puerto Rico acogerá reunión anual de Coalición Mundial contra Pena 
de Muerte," /Univisión/, June 10, 2014, 

^^[39] <#_ednref39>José A. Delgado, "Aprueba la Cámara baja federal 
pedir cuentas sobre Vieques y Culebra: La medida incluye lenguaje del 
congresista Serrano que pide informe sobre limpieza y armas utilizadas," 
/El Nuevo Día/, 

^^[40] <#_ednref40>Joel Cintrón Arbasetti, Centro de Periodismo 
Investigativo de Puerto Rico, "Estados Unidos demandado ante la OEA por 
violar derechos humanos en Vieques," /Claridad/, October 1, 2013, 

^^[41] <#_ednref41>See, e.g., EFE USA, "Avanza ley para que Pentágono 
informe sobre la limpieza de Vieques y Culebra," /EFE/, June 10, 2014, 
Editorial, "Reparación de daños en una laguna viequense,"/El Nuevo Día/, 
June 15, 2014, 

^^[42] <#_ednref42>See, e.g., Juan C. Dávila, Frutos Fílmicos, "Vieques, 
una batalla inconclusa," (documentary film), 

^^[43] <#_ednref43>See, e.g., Radio Vieques, launched June 30, 2013: 
"Public radio WVQR will provide cultural-educational programming related 
to the struggles that continue in the eastern region of Puerto Rico for 
decontamination, return of the lands occupied by the U.S. Navy for more 
than a half-century, as well as for the health of the communities and 
sustainable development." http://www.radiovieques.net/.

^^[44] <#_ednref44>Editorial, "Traiciona la democracia la prisión de 
Oscar López," /El Nuevo Día/, June 1, 2014, 

^^[45] <#_ednref45>David Cordero Mercado, "La IUPI celebra sus actos de 
graduación," /Diálogo Digital/, June 11, 2014, 
"Más de 50 nuevos artistas: Celebran graduación de la Escuela de Artes 
Plásticas mientras estudiantes y profesores pedían la excarcelación de 
Oscar López Rivera," /El Nuevo Día/, June 20, 2014, 

^^[46] <#_ednref46>The Stream Team, "Puerto Ricans to demonstrate for 
release of Oscar López,"/Al Jazeera America/, November 22, 2013, 

^^[47] <#_ednref47>Cándida Cotto, "Miles reclaman a Obama: 'Navidad con 
Oscar en casa'," /Claridad/, November 27, 2013, 
Tatiana Pérez Rivera, "Las caras del recorrido: Cabezudos lideran la 
petición de excarcelación del preso político boricua que lleva 32 años 
en EEUU," /El Nuevo Día/, November 23, 2013, 

^^[48] <#_ednref48>Puerto Rico: Total éxito de la marcha por la 
liberación de Oscar López, /Contra Injerencia/, November 24, 2013, 

^^[49] <#_ednref49>Editorial, "Obama, Excarcele Ya a Oscar López," /El 
Nuevo Día/, November 23, 2013, 

^^[50] <#_ednref50>"Maestras piden excarcelación de Oscar López," 
/Univisión/, November 24, 2013, 

^^[51] <#_ednref51>"Mujeres en el mundo de las artes por la libertad de 
Oscar," /Claridad/, August 27, 2013, 

^^[52] <#_ednref52>En Rojo, "32 niñas exigen la excarcelación del 
prisonero político Oscar López Rivera,"/Claridad/, December 30, 2013, 

^^[53] <#_ednref53>Andre Lee Muñiz, "33 Mujeres NYC x Oscar In The 
Bronx," /La Respuesta/, May 1, 2014, 

^^[54] <#_ednref54>"Donde respira el mar," /El Nuevo Día/, September 14, 
"'Where the Sea Breathes': A Letter from Puerto Rican Political Prisoner 
Oscar López Rivera,"/Global Voices/, posted December 9, 2013, 

^^[55] <#_ednref55>Juan R. Costa Rivera, "Estela de embarcaciones por la 
liberación de Oscar López Rivera," /Noticel/, May 25, 2014, 
Rebecca Banuchi, "Exigen libertad para Oscar López Rivera por mar y 
tierra," /El Nuevo Día/, May 25, 2014, 

^^[56] <#_ednref56>"33 pueblos en 33 días por la liberación de Oscar 
López,"/NotiUno/, April 22, 2014, 
Elliot Castro, "Deportistas por la libertad de Oscar," /Claridad/, June 
18, 2014, 

^^[57] <#_ednref57>See, e.g., Edgar Torres, "Cayeyanos reclaman la 
libertad de Oscar López Rivera," /Inter News Service/, May 5, 2014, 

^^[58] <#_ednref58>See, e.g., Brenda I. Peña López, "Claman desde San 
Lorenzo por la liberación de Oscar López: Un centenar de personas se 
unió a la Caminata Nacional 33 en 33 X Oscar," /El Nuevo Día/, April 28, 

^^[59] <#_ednref59>Michelle Estrada Torres, "Reclaman excarcelación de 
Oscar López al cumplir 33 años preso," /Primera Hora/, May 29, 2014, 

^^[60] <#_ednref60>Cyber News, "Senado aprueba resolución por Oscar 
López,"/Radio Isla 1320/, May 29, 2014, 
http://www.radioisla1320.com/?p=38221; Jorge Gelpí Pagán, "Resolución en 
el Senado por Oscar López," WAPA TV, May 30, 2014, 

^^[61] <#_ednref61>Editorial, "Traiciona la democracia la prisión de 
Oscar López," /El Nuevo Día/, June 1, 2014, 

^^[62] <#_ednref62>See, http://www.unionfacts.com/union/AFL-CIO.

^^[63] <#_ednref63>"AFLCIO reclama liberación de Oscar López Rivera: Se 
une a la campaña a favor de excarcelar al prisionero político 
puertorriqueño," /El Nuevo Día/, September 11, 2013, 

^^[64] <#_ednref64>The Rev. Geoffrey Black and the Rev. Linda Jaramillo, 
"Commentary: A Word on Freedom," /United Church of Christ News/, 
December 15, 2013, 

^^[65] <#_ednref65>Zaira Cortés García, "Calle 13 marcha en NYC por 
libertad de Oscar López Rivera: René Pérez, vocalista del grupo, 
encabezó una caminata de más de una hora a lo largo del Puente de 
Williamsburg junto a líderes comunitarios y activistas," /El Diario/La 
Prensa/, November 24, 2013, 

^^[66] <#_ednref66>Vivian Yee and Julie Turkewitz, "A Proud Swirl of 
Sound and Spectacle: After Scandal, Puerto Rican Day Parade Goes 'Back 
to Its Roots'," /New York Times/, June 8, 2014, 

^^[67] <#_ednref67>"El desfile nacional puertorriqueño rinde homenaje a 
oscar lópez rivera como patriota boricua," National Puerto Rican Day 
Parade, Inc., April 29, 2014, 

^^[68] <#_ednref68>"Diaspora-wide Demonstrations for Oscar López 
Rivera's Freedom," /La Respuesta/, May 29, 2014, 

^^[69] <#_ednref69>José A. Delgado, "Presidente Mujica: 'Puerto Rico es 
una de las naciones de América Latina': Revela además que intervino a 
favor del prisionero político puertorriqueño Oscar López," /El Nuevo 
Día/, May 12, 2014, 

^^[70] <#_ednref70>"Presidente Maduro abogó por libertad del luchador 
puertoriqueño Oscar López Rivera," /Correo del Orinoco/, May 29, 2014, 
on the 33^rd anniversary of his arrest, the editorial in Puerto Rico's 
main daily newspaper had this to say: "The government of the United 
States is morally impeded from intervening on behalf of any political 
prisoner, in any place in the world, while the president continues to 
mock the memory of Mandela, violate civil and political rights and 
Oscar's right to freedom." Editorial, "Traiciona la democracia la 
prisión de Oscar López," /El Nuevo Día/, June 1, 2014, 
See also, Mariano Volcovich, "El Mandela americano: El puertorriqueño 
lleva 33 años detenido en Estados Unidos por reclamar la independencia 
de su país. Por qué Rigoberta Menchú, Maravilla Martínez y Calle 13, 
entre otras personalidades, piden por él," /Revista Veintitrés/, June 
20, 2014, 

^^[71] <#_ednref71>CyberNews, "Hija de Oscar López Rivera regresa de 
Cuba con distinción solidaria para el preso boricua," /Noticel,/ 
September 22, 2013, 

^^[72] <#_ednref72>Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, "El Mandela de Obama," 
/Claridad/, September18, 2013, 

^^[73] <#_ednref73>Oscar López Rivera, "Al cumplir mis 71," /Claridad/, 
January 13, 2014, 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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