[Pnews] Oscar Lopez Released After Arbitrary Detention in Panama

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 9 11:54:42 EDT 2018


  Oscar Lopez Released After Arbitrary Detention in Panama

7 August 2018

The former political prisoner and Puerto Rican independence activist 
Oscar Lopez Rivera was released by Panamanian officials on Tuesday after 
being detained for 18 at the international airport while trying to 
travel to the conference, "America in Dispute" being held in Santa Cruz, 

Lopez Rivera was held in custody by Panamanian airport authorities on 
his way to the Bolivian meeting despite carrying a valid passport.

Alejandro Molina, the spokesman for the political activist, said Lopez 
Rivera was arrested on the grounds that he was an ex-convict, and as 
such, Panamanian law allegedly prohibits him from traveling through the 

Not until the Bolivian government intervened in the matter was Lopez 
Rivera freed.

The former political prisoner was finally freed in 2017 after then 
President Barack Obama commuted his sentence. The activist had been 
sentenced to 55 years in prison starting in 1981 for sedition. He was 
linked to the Armed Forces of National Liberation of Puerto Rico (FALN), 
an organization that fought for the independence of the Caribbean island.

The organizers of the seminary – Network of Intellectuals and Artists in 
Defense of Humanity – denounced Lopez Rivera’s detainment as unjust and 
with the intent to stop him for participating in the three day meeting 
in Bolivia.

The forum seeks to bring together intellectuals and left-wing thinkers 
to discuss and organize alternatives to neoliberal and imperialist 
aggression in the region.

Among the guest panelists are the Puerto Rican wrestler, personalities 
such as Argentine Atilio Boron, Venezuelan William Castillo and Bolivian 
government minister Carlos Romero.

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, also on the list of forum 
attendees was also detained at the Honduran international airport, 
accused of not being vaccinated for yellow fever. The former head of 
state overthrown in a right-wing coup in 2009 defended that he was 

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