[Ppnews] Puerto Rico sues US over killing of Filiberto Ojeda Rios

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 24 20:01:28 EST 2006

Puerto Rico sues US over killing of militant
Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:10 PM ET

By Enrique Martel

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Puerto Rico has sued top U.S. law 
enforcement officials for allegedly failing to cooperate with a probe 
into the killing of a militant independence activist in the U.S. 
Caribbean territory.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday and names Attorney General Alberto 
Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller as defendants in the case 
along with Luis Fraticelli, the FBI special agent in charge of the 
San Juan division.

Filiberto Ojeda Rios, the 72-year-old founder of Puerto Rico's 
radical Boricua Popular Army, also known as the Macheteros or 
machete-wielders, was fatally wounded in a shootout with FBI agents 
in western Puerto Rico in September.

He had been a fugitive from justice for 15 years and was found shot 
in the neck and shoulder with a single bullet, the FBI said at the 
time. Local authorities quickly questioned whether his life could 
have been spared if he had been given speedy medical attention.

The suit filed by Roberto Sanchez Ramos, the head of Puerto Rico's 
Justice Department, accuses the defendants of trying to hide the FBI 
agents involved in the September shootout behind a "mantra of 
absolute immunity."

The FBI raided a business and five homes in Puerto Rico on February 
10, saying it was acting to prevent a potential terrorist attack by 
the Macheteros.

In a separate lawsuit filed on Thursday, Sanchez Ramos accused 
Gonzales, Mueller and Fraticelli of refusing to hand over information 
about the FBI's alleged use of pepper spray on journalists during the raids.

The FBI's chief spokesman in San Juan declined to comment on the lawsuits.

Puerto Rico has a small independence movement, with the with the bulk 
of the 3.8 million population about evenly divided between remaining 
a U.S. commonwealth or becoming a U.S. state.

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