[Ppnews] Carlos Alberto Torres Released after 30 years

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 26 14:38:39 EDT 2010

Puerto Rican nationalist in bombings paroled

July 26, 2010 12:30 PM

well-known figure in 
Puerto Rican community was released from federal prison today, more 
than three decades after taking part in a nationalist movement that 
terrorized the city with bombings and other violent acts.

Alberto Torres, 57, paroled after serving 30-years for seditious 
conspiracy related to his role in the FALN movement, was en route 
this afternoon to 
from the federal prison in downstate Marion.
Torres was not charged with any specific bombings, and his supporters 
called him a "political prisoner" who had served enough time and 
deserved to be paroled.

"I consider this a day of victory for all the people who have 
dedicated years of struggle for the liberty of all the political 
prisoners," Torres said by cell phone.

A rally was planned for 4 p.m. today on West Division Street in the 
heart of the Puerto Rican community.

the early 1980s, the FALN used homemade bombs to make a political 
statement, robbing banks to finance their activities. They were 
active primarily in 
and New York. Six people were killed in New York as a result of FALN violence.

Despite criticism from Mayor Richard Daley, President Clinton in 1999 
offered clemency to 11 FALN prisoners, a group that did not include 
Torres. Family members of victims were critical of Clinton's move, 
saying the prisoners should be considered terrorists.

The son of a man killed by an FALN blast called the releases "a 
disrespectful affront to all Americans" in a newspaper op-ed last year.

Torres said he understood why some would still harbor ill feelings 
toward the FALN activists.

"That is the past and the past cannot change. We can only impact the 
moment of the present and the future," he said. "The people have a 
right to their opinions and it is not my place to try to convince 
them one way or the other."

Alejandro Molina of the Boricua Human Rights Network said supporters 
would be raising funds to ease Torres' transition into society. 
Torres is scheduled to return to his native Puerto Rico on Tuesday morning.

--<mailto:oavila at tribune.com>Oscar Avila

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