[Ppnews] FBI agents return to homes of 2 Puerto Rican independence activists

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 18 14:00:27 EDT 2006

U.S. agents return to homes of 2 Puerto Rican independence activists
The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico FBI agents returned Monday 
to the homes of two Puerto Rican activists whose 
properties were searched in February in an 
investigation into a militant group seeking 
independence for the U.S. island territory.

FBI teams went to the apartment of Liliana Laboy 
and the house of Norberto Cintron Fiallo, both in 
the San Juan area, but neither activist was home 
at the time and the agents left without entering.

FBI spokesman Harry Rodriguez said the agents 
went to the homes as part of an ongoing 
investigation into the Macheteros, also known as 
the Puerto Rican People's Army. He declined to 
provide details or say whether agents planned to 
arrest the activists or search their homes.

"This has nothing to do with the people that 
support the independence of Puerto Rico by legal 
means," Rodriguez said. "This is simply a 
continuation of the criminal investigation of the 
terrorist organization, the Macheteros."

Both homes were among those searched on Feb. 10 
as part of the what the FBI said at the time was 
an operation aimed at thwarting a "domestic 
terrorist attack" by Puerto Rican militants. No 
arrests have been made so far in the investigation.

Laboy's lawyer, Roxana Badillo, said the latest 
search was intended to intimidate activists who 
planned protests on Saturday to mark the first 
anniversary of the death of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, 
a militant leader who was shot and killed by FBI agents who came to arrest him.

"Their only goal is to try to intimidate the 
independence movement before the anniversary of 
the killing of Filiberto Ojeda Rios," Badillo 
said. "This is something the people of Puerto Rico can't allow."

Ojeda, 72, was considered the leader of the 
Macheteros, which claimed responsibility for a 
series of bombings and attacks in the 1970s and 
1980s. In one, gunmen opened fire in 1979 on a 
bus carrying U.S. sailors, killing two and wounding 10.

Last month, federal investigators concluded that 
FBI agents were justified in killing Ojeda, who 
opened fire first ­ hitting three agents and 
seriously wounding one of them. The militant had 
been convicted for his role in the 1983 robbery 
of US$7 million from a Wells Fargo bank depot in 
West Hartford, Connecticut, but fled while on bond.

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