Posts Tagged ‘Federal Bureau of Investigation’

FILIBERTO: ENTREVISTA CLANDESTINA Screening

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
September 9, 2006
8:00 pm

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Screening and discussion

Saturday, September 9, 8PM

White Park
East 106th Street
between Lexington and Third Avenues

Filiberto: Entrevista Clandestina is an interview with Filiberto Ojeda Rios by Puerto Rican reporter Daisy Sanchez. The screening marks the first anniversary of his death at the hands of the FBI last year on September 23, a date that also commemorates El Grito de Lares.

The interview was conducted while he was in clandestine, after cutting off an electronic ankle shackle. Ojeda was on trial for his alleged involvement in the Macheteros’ Wells Fargo armored truck robbery in Hartford Connecticut. Filiberto speaks for himself and the Macheteros on the colonial issues confronting Puerto Rico.

The interview aired uncut on Puerto Rican television and was the most watched television program in the history of Puerto Rico. This film is an excerpted version of that television program.

If it rains, the screening will take place at PRdream / MediaNoche, across the street from White Park, 161 East 106th Street, First Floor.

UN Special Committee on Decolonization of PR

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
June 12, 2006
6:30 pm

6th Annual Peoples’ Reception for Puerto Rico Delegation and
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign Invites You To Join:


Ismael Guadalupe, Viequense Leader/Freedom Fighter
Ramon Nenadich, National Congress for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico (CONADE)
Licenciado Nelson Rochet Santoro, CONADE
Licenciado Manuel Rodríguez, Spokesperson, Socialist Front of Puerto Rico & Other Ant-Colonial, Pro-Vieques, Pro-Independence, And Political Prisoner Activist Presenters Before The 2006 United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization Hearings This year.

Monday June 12, 2006
Hunter College West Building
Room 217, 2nd Floor
68th St. & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan
#6 Lexington Avenue train to Hunter College
68th Street Stop

6:30pm-7pm Reception
7:00pm-9pm Panel Presentations/Comments/Questions & Answers

Perspectives & Updates:
Vieques Landgrab: The Second Invasion!
Crisis & Bankruptcy of the Colonial Model in Puerto Rico Continues.
Attacks on Workers and the Labor Movement.
FBI Repression of the Independence Movement/Colonial Government Complicity.
Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War
Puerto Rican Students/Youth Lead The Fight Back.

Donation Requested/No One Turned Away
All Proceeds Go To:
Antonio Camacho Freedom Fund
Commissary For the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners
and Prisoners of War

Archivos Subversivos

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
February 15, 2007
6:30 pm

archivos flyer.psd1.jpg

“We must determine their capabilities of influencing others, capabilities of real leadership, why the intense desire for Puerto Rico’s independence, what they expect to gain from independence and the support they have from other leaders and rank-and-file members. We must have information concerning their weaknesses, morals, criminal records, spouses, children, family life, educational qualifications and personal activities other than independence activities.”

-FBI, COINTELPRO (Subversive Controls Section): MEMO, 1960

Centro Gallery
presents

ARCHIVOS SUBVERSIVOS

An exhibition by Yasmín Hernández

On view February 9th-March 10th, 2007

OPENING RECEPTION:

Thursday, February 15, 2007
6:30-8:30 PM

Centro Gallery is located in The Centro Library and Archives

Third floor, East building at Hunter College

68th Street and Lexington Avenue

Gallery Hours:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 9am –6pm

Wednesday, 9am-8pm

Friday & Saturday, 12pm-5pm

For more information:

www.centropr.org

www.yasminhernandez.com

El Grito de Lares

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
September 23, 2007
12:00 pm

Join us Sunday, September 23rd in a march and rally for Puerto Rican independence and self-determination. (Details follow)

Sunday September 23rd.
!Todos somos Macheteros!

12PM Begin gathering at Times Square (Broadway between 41st & 42nd)
1PM: Begin marching towards the United Nations
2PM: Rally at the UN- Dag Hammarskjold Plaza featuring speakers from Puerto Rican and ally communities and live hip hop and bomba performances.

www.September23.org

(212)696-6804

Puerto Rico is the oldest colony on the planet, first invaded by Spain in 1493, then in 1898 by the United States. After 109 years, it continues under U.S. colonial rule.

Within those 500 plus years of invasion and occupation, the Puerto Rican people have been engaged in anti-imperialist/ anti-colonial resistance that continues to this day.

The Significance of the September 23rd date September 23rd, 1868 is traditionally celebrated and commemorated as the birth ofthe Puerto Rican nation, when Puerto Ricans rose up against Spanish colonial rule in a revolt known as El Grito de Lares. By 1898, Puerto Rico had achieved a form of autonomous self-rule, which came to an end later that year with the United States invasion of the island during the Spanish- American War. Puerto Rico has been under the political rule of the United States ever since and has continued to struggle throughout that time for its independence
and self-determination.

Well aware of this date’s significance to the independence movement, on September 23rd, 2005, U.S. FBI agents assassinated Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Comandante Filiberto, who founded el Ejercito Popular Boricua (the Puerto Rican People’s Army) – Los Macheteros, was a revered revolutionary leader of the Puerto Rican liberation struggle. The assassination of Filiberto on this date was a clear attempt to kill the spirit of the ongoing Puerto Rican liberation struggle.

Why the UN location? In spite of their attempt to kill our spirit, the FBI assassination of Ojeda Rios served to rally additional support for the independence movement. Since his death, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization voted unanimously on a resolution calling for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico. This resolution, in addition to several declarations made on the colonial situation of the island reiterates: “the Puerto Rican people constitute a Latin American and Caribbean nation that has its own unequivocal national identity.” If picked up by the UN General Assembly the Puerto Rican status question will be addressed in September of 2008. This historical decision would put Puerto Rico’s status
issue on the UN agenda for the first time since 1953. The September 23rd march will rally national and international support so that the United Nations will make it a priority to resolve the colonial situation in Puerto Rico once and for all, through its natural right to be a free nation.

What, when and where?: On Sunday, September 23rd of 2007:

12PM Begin gathering at Times Square (Broadway between 41st & 42nd)
1PM: Begin marching towards the United Nations
2PM: Rally at the UN- Dag Hammarskjold Plaza featuring speakers from Puerto Rican
and ally communities and live hip hop and bomba performances.

For more information and march route/ program details visit:
www.September23.org

(212)696-6804

Vicente ” Panama” Alba
panamaalba2@yahoo.com
(917) 626-5847

“if you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are comrade of mine.”
“Let’s be realistic, let’s do the impossible”
Ernesto “Che” Guevara

FBI: No sabotage in Puerto Rico tank explosion

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

By DANICA COTO (AP) – 1 day ago
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The FBI said Friday there is no evidence of sabotage in last week’s explosion at a Puerto Rico fuel depot, which burned for more than two days and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. Gasoline vapors from an overflowing fuel tank caused the blast at the Caribbean Petroleum Corp. facility near the U.S. territory’s capital, San Juan, according to Luis Fraticelli, the FBI special agent in charge for the island. He said more than 240 investigators analyzed the explosion and did not find evidence it was intentional. But Fraticelli said authorities are still investigating whether negligence was involved. “Since this is a federal investigation, the word ‘accident’ will not be used,” Fraticelli said at a news conference.

The explosion shortly after midnight on Oct. 23 shattered windows and sent tremors across San Juan. The fire destroyed 21 of the depot’s 40 fuel storage tanks and sent up a plume of thick, toxic smoke. More than 1,500 people were evacuated out of fears of contamination, but there were no deaths. Immediately before the blast, a tanker ship had released nearly 28,000 gallons (106,000 liters) of fuel into the tanks, and an undetermined amount spilled into a drainage ditch that is capable of handling a 10 percent overflow, said ATF spokesman Marcial Orlando Felix.

The fuel released a large amount of vapor, and one of three items could have caused the spark, although Felix declined to name them because officials have not pinpointed the source. Federal and local agents questioned more than 100 people, including company employees, and investigated leads including graffiti found after the blast in a highway tunnel in the capital with the message: “Boom, fire, RIP, Gulf.”

Agents also are investigating what security systems were in place to prevent such an explosion and why apparently no alarms were activated, Felix said. The explosion damaged more than 200 homes, and crews have installed new doors and windows and repaired walls, Gov. Luis Fortuno said. Twelve homes required more extensive repairs, and six will be partially or completely torn down. President Barack Obama had designated Puerto Rico an emergency zone and ordered federal aid to supplement local efforts.

Caribbean Petroleum spokeswoman Frances Rios said the company is cooperating with authorities, and crews have built dikes and contained toxic material to prevent further contamination of water sources.
Caribbean Petroleum supplies 200 Gulf gas stations in Puerto Rico.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

TORTURE OF MACHETERO — ORDERED TO BE EXTRADITED

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Avelino was ordered extradited to Connecticut today to stand trial for the legendary Wells Fargo heist of 1983, an act that the Macheteros took credit for. FBI Criminal & Division Head Luis Fraticelli says that the FBI’s arrests against the organizations’ leaders will continue, so let us be prepared to continue supporting our freedom fighters, who are fighting for the freedom of a colony, even as the White House admits & officially adopts the position that Puerto Rico is a colony…JO

Ordenan extradicion de Gonzalez Claudio
Prensa Asociada
11 Feb 2008

Pese a que el presunto machetero Avelino González Claudio pidió que se le juzgue en Puerto Rico y se describió como un “prisionero político”, el magistrado federal Marcos López ordenó hoy, lunes, su extradición a Hartford, Connecticut, en un procedimiento judicial generalmente automático.

La defensa de González Claudio también denunció ante el togado que su cliente está recibiendo “trato inhumano” en la cárcel federal porque se le mantiene en una celda en la que se le selló la única ventana con una plancha de metal para impedirle ver la luz del día.

La portavoz del Centro Metropolitano de Detenciones en Guaynabo, Migdalia Torres, aseguró en una carta remitida a Prensa Asociada que, en el penal, se están reparando algunas de las celdas y que esos trabajos pueden requerir que se tapen sus ventanas temporalmente.

Y negó que González Claudio reciba un trato especial o diferente al de los demás reclusos.

“El tratamiento al reo González Claudio no es diferente al que recibe cualquier otro recluso en espera de juicio y con las mismas necesidades de seguridad”, aseguró Torres en la misiva.

El acusado fue arrestado la semana pasada por supuestamente participar en el robo de 7 millones de dólares de un camión blindado de la compañía de transporte de valores Wells Fargo en Hartford, Connecticut, el 12 de septiembre de 1983.

González Claudio aceptó el lunes que responde a ese nombre, aunque a través de su representación legal dejó establecido que no reconoce la autoridad de la corte estadounidense en la Isla para extraditarlo.

“Avelino González Claudio no niega su identidad. Este ciudadano puertorriqueño frente a usted es Avelino González Claudio”, dijo el licenciado Juan Ramón Acevedo Cruz, principal abogado de defensa del supuesto miembro del Ejército Popular Boricua-Los Macheteros, al magistrado López.

“En cuanto al asunto de la extradición, nosotros vigorosamente objetamos cualquier intento del gobierno de Estados Unidos de remover a González Claudio de su isla de Puerto Rico”, agregó el letrado en la vista de identificación del acusado.

El fiscal federal José Ruiz indicó a la AP que la extradición podría tardar más de 20 días y que generalmente si en Puerto Rico no se impone una fianza en la jurisdicción donde será trasladado permanecería encarcelado.

“Si se impone fianza aquí, allá generalmente lo honran”, indicó Ruiz. Según Acevedo, como “prisionero político”, González Claudio reclama su potestad, al amparo del derecho internacional, de permanecer en su tierra natal.

El abogado reclamó, además, que el gobierno estadounidense cumpla con la Resolución 1514 de la Asamblea General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), que declara el colonialismo como “la negación de un derecho humano fundamental”.

“Desde 1972, el Comité Especial de Descolonización de las Naciones Unidas ha reconocido el derecho inalienable de los puertorriqueños a la autodeterminación y la independencia de acuerdo con la Resolución 1514″, agregó el abogado citando la resolución.

La defensa también solicitó una vista de fianza, que fue señalada por el magistrado para el 21 de febrero a la 1:30 de la tarde.

La fiscalía federal, representada por Ruiz y Carlos Cardona, no objetó que se le garantice la vista de fianza al sospechoso.

Pidió con éxito que González Claudio permanezca encarcelado en la institución federal de Guaynabo por considerarlo un “riesgo de fuga” y “un peligro para la comunidad” porque usó nombres falsos por 22 años y por la naturaleza de los delitos que se le imputan.

Sobre la denuncia de trato inhumano, el magistrado dijo que eso no sería jurisdicción de la corte.

Ante los reclamos del abogado para poder ver a González Claudio en un cuarto de visitas de la cárcel y no en un salón de conferencias donde no tiene privacidad, y para que se le quiten las esposas y pueda firmar documentos, el magistrado le respondió que hiciera los arreglos pertinentes con el Negociado federal de Prisiones.

Le indicó que si la situación persiste entonces el tribunal podría intervenir.

Mientras la vista se llevaba a cabo, frente al edificio federal en Hato Rey hubo una protesta de organizaciones independentistas.

“Esta corte representa los intereses del imperio y van a seguir fielmente la orden de Washington, pero vamos a dar todas la batallas legales para que se quede aquí”, expresó Osvaldo González Claudio, hermano del acusado.

Agregó que abriga la esperanza de que su pariente sea juzgado “por sus pares” y no en Connecticut.

Subject: TORTURE/TORTURA OF/DE MACHETERO
To: panamaglobaljustice@lists.riseup.net

Coordinated protests were held today in New York and San Juan to protest the Gestapo FBI’s kidnapping of this freedom fighter…

Torture of Machetero denounced
MINH alleges that the “different treatment” González Claudio is receiving is intended to “soften” him.

By The Associated Press
February 11, 2008 El Nuevo Día

SAN JUAN – The co-chair of the National Hostos Independence Movement, (MINH), Héctor Pesquera, denounced today the fact that federal prisoner Avelino González Claudio, linked to the clandestine group The Macheteros, is supposedly being tortured in the federal detention center in Guaynabo where he has been confined since he was arrested on Wednesday [sic].

“We have information that they have already started to torture him, covering up the windows so he cannot know whether it’s day or night,” said Pesquera in a radio interview (WSKN).

Pesquera, a doctor by profession, said that the supposed “different treatment” González Claudio is receiving in the jail is meant to “soften him, preparing to break his will.”

Asking about the matter, governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá said that any allegation of mistreatment must be “immediately” taken to the highest levels of federal jurisdiction by González Claudio’s attorneys.

However, he said that in Puerto Rico, “let’s not fool ourselves. Here, historically, federal and state authorities… the way they treated independentists was very different from the way they treated other citizens.”

Immediately, Migdalia Torres, public information officer at the federal jail in Guaynabo, said she had no information about Pesquera’s allegations, but promised to investigate and get back to the Associated Press.

“I’ve just arrived; I don’t have any information,” said Torres.

Pesquera pointed out that González Claudio, while clandestine for 22 years, was a teacher of computer science for the musician and comedian Silverio Pérez and a president of the Supreme Court who could not be identified.

“We know that Avelino González Claudio, during the life he lived under another name, was a very productive person for the Country,” said Pesquera.

As for the judicial process which is to continue this afternoon, Pesquera said that González Claudio will not recognize the jurisdiction of the federal court to extradite him.

“He is going to ask that he be judged here, in Puerto Rico,” said Pesquera.

“That he be judged in his own land… anything else would be kidnap,” he added.

González Claudio has an identification hearing today before being extradited to Hartford, Connecticut, where he will face charges of bank robbery, among others, related to the robbery of $7 million of a Wells Fargo deposit in that city in September of 1982 [sic].

The clandestine organization The Macheteros claimed responsibility for this robbery.

On August 30, 1985, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), arrested 11 of 17 people related the clandestine organization which claimed responsibility for the deaths of two sailors from the Sabana Seca Navy Base and for the death of a police officer, in addition to the destruction of nine Puerto Rico National Guard airplanes.

Translation of letter from Avelino Gonzalez Claudio’s Defense Committee

We extend to you our cordial greetings from Mayaguez: As we have already denounced, Comrade Avelino Gonzalez Claudio was arrested by the F.B.I. today, and will be confronting charges which will be leveled against him outside of Puerto Rico.

Avelino was one of the comrades that the F.B.I. had been unable to capture during its repressive onslaught against our movement in 1985. That period saw the imprisonment of comrades like Papo Segarra Palmer, who spent 19 years of his life in U.S. prisons.

We should not lose sight of the fact that the colonial police of Puerto Rico took part in the surveilance that was maintained against Avelino Gonzalez, and his eventual arrest. This is after all an election year, and our colonial governor is susceptible to the pressures of the F.B.I. and a Republican Party in the U.S. which despairs over the failures of its undemocratic efforts against “terrorism,” the very thing that they’re guilty of inflicting on the world.

Avelino Gonzalez Claudio is a militant who has pursued the decolonization of Puerto Rico. He is not unlike those who continued the struggle of Filiberto Ojeda, those who confronted the
U.S. navy in Vieques, or those of us who today resist the abuses of the F.B.I. in our country.

The comrades of the Frente Socialista, (Socialist Front,) the Committee for Human Rights and La Nueva Escuela, (The New School,) call for a demonstration in support of Avelino Gonzalez Claudio, on Monday February 11 2008 at 3:00PM. At that time, a hearing will be taking place at the colonial “federal” court in San Juan to discuss the extradition of the comrade to the United States. We must demand that the comrade remain in Puerto Rico.

Denuncian tortura a machetero
MINH alega que el “trato distinto” que recibe González Claudio tiene el propósito de “ablandarlo”.

Por The Associated Press
11 febrero 2008 El Nuevo Día

SAN JUAN – El copresidente del Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH), Héctor Pesquera, denunció hoy que el preso federal Avelino González Claudio, vinculado con el grupo clandestino los Macheteros, supuestamente está siendo torturado en el centro de detención federal en Guaynabo donde está confinado desde que fue arrestado el miércoles.

“Tenemos información de que ya comenzaron a torturarlo tapiándole las ventanas para que no sepa cuándo es de día o cuándo es de noche”, dijo Pesquera en entrevista radial (WSKN).

Pesquera, médico de profesión, dijo que el supuesto “trato distinto” que recibe González Claudio en la cárcel tendría el propósito de “ablandarlo, irle quebrando la voluntad”.

Cuestionado sobre el asunto, el gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá dijo que cualquier alegación de maltrato debe ser elevada a los más altos niveles de la jurisdicción federal por los abogados de González Claudio “inmediatamente”.

No obstante, dijo que en Puerto Rico “nadie puede tapar el cielo con la mano, aquà históricamente las autoridades federales y estatales… la forma en que trataban a los independentistas era muy diferente a la que trataban a otros ciudadanos”.

De inmediato, Migdalia Torres, oficial de información pública de la cárcel federal en Guaynabo dijo que no tenía información sobre las alegaciones de Pesquera, pero prometió indagar y comunicarse nuevamente con Prensa Asociada.

“Acabo de llegar, no tengo información”, dijo Torres.

Pesquera, por su parte, destacó que González Claudio, mientras estuvo clandestino durante 22 años, fue maestro de ciencias de computadoras del músico y comediante Silverio Pérez y de un presidente del Tribunal Supremo a quien no pudo identificar.

“Sabemos que Avelino González Claudio, durante su vida bajo otro nombre, fue una persona muy productiva para el País”, dijo Pesquera.

Sobre el proceso judicial que continúa esta tarde, Pesquera dijo que González Claudio no reconocerá la jurisdicción del tribunal federal para extraditarlo.

“Va a solicitar que se le juzgue aquí, en Puerto Rico”, dijo Pesquera.

“Que se le juzgue en su tierra, cualquier otra cosa sería secuestro”, agregó.

González Claudio tiene hoy una vista de identificación antes de ser extraditado a Hartford, Connecticut en donde enfrenta cargos de robo a banco, entre otros relacionados con el robo de $7 millones de un depósito de la Wells Fargo en esa ciudad en septiembre de 1982.

Por ese robo se responsabilizó la organización clandestina los Macheteros.

El 30 de agosto de 1985 el Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI, por sus siglas en inglés) arrestó a 11 de 17 personas relacionadas con la organización clandestina que se responsabiliza por las muertes de dos marinos de la Base Naval de Sabana Seca y la de un policía, además de la destrucción de nueve aviones de la Guardia Nacional de Puerto Rico.


Pesquera denuncia tortura a Machetero

Lunes, 11 de febrero de 2008

El copresidente del Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH) Héctor Pesquera denunció hoy que el preso federal Avelino González Claudio, vinculado con el grupo clandestino los Macheteros, supuestamente esta siendo torturado en el centro de detención federal en Guaynabo donde está confinado desde que fue arrestado miércoles.

“Tenemos información de que ya comenzaron a torturarlo tapiándole las ventanas para que no sepa cuando es de día o cuando es de noche”, dijo Pesquera en entrevista radial (WSKN).

Pesquera, médico de profesión, dijo que el supuesto “trato distinto” que recibe González Claudio en la cárcel tendría el propósito de “ablandarlo, irle quebrando la voluntad”.

Cuestionado sobre el asunto, el gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá dijo que cualquier alegación de maltrato debe ser elevada a los más altos niveles de la jurisdicción federal por los abogados de González Claudio “inmediatamente”.

No obstante, dijo que en Puerto Rico “nadie puede tapar el cielo con la mano, aquí históricamente las autoridades federales y estatales… la forma en que trataban a los independentistas era muy diferente a la que trataban a otros ciudadanos”.

De inmediato, Migdalia Torres, oficial de información pública de la cárcel federal en Guaynabo dijo que no tenía información sobre las alegaciones de Pesquera pero prometió indagar y comunicarse nuevamente con prensa Asociada.

“Acabo de llegar, no tengo información”, dijo Torres.

Pesquera por su parte destacó que González Claudio mientras estuvo clandestino durante 22 años, fue maestro de ciencias de computadoras del músico y comediante Silverio Pérez y de un presidente del Tribunal Supremo a quien no pudo identificar.

“Sabemos que Avelino González Claudio, durante su vida bajo otro nombre, fue una persona muy productiva para el país”, dijo Pesquera.

Sobre el proceso judicial que continúa en la tarde del lunes, Pesquera dijo que González Claudio no reconocerá la jurisdicción del tribunal federal para extraditarlo.

“Va a solicitar que se le juzgue aquí en Puerto Rico”, dijo Pesquera.

“Que se le juzgue en su tierra, cualquier otra cosa sería secuestro.

González Claudio enfrenta el lunes una vista de identificación antes de ser extraditado a Hartford Connecticut en donde enfrenta cargos d robo a banco entre otros relacionados con el robo de siete millones de dólares de un depósito de la Wells Fargo en esa ciudad en septiembre de 1982.

Por ese robo se responsabilizó la organización clandestina los Macheteros.

El 30 de agosto de 1985 el Negociado federal de Investigaciones (FBI en inglés) arresto a 11 de 17 personas relacionadas con la organización clandestina que se responsabiliza por las muertes de dos marinos de la Base Naval de sabana seca y la de un policía, además de la destrucción de nueve aviones de la Guardia Nacional de Puerto Rico.

Vicente “Panama” Alba
panamaalba2@yahoo.com
(917) 626-5847

“if you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are comrade of mine.”

“Let’s be realistic, let’s do the impossible”
Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Governor of Puerto Rico and Twelve Others Indicted for Election Related Crimes

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Note: Below is the news release from the Department of Justice that outlines the charges against Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila and his associates.

—Angelo Falcon

U.S. Newswire (March 27, 2008)

WASHINGTON, March 27 – Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila and 12 associates in Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and the Philadelphia-area have been charged in a 27-count indictment unsealed today and returned by a grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 24, 2008, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez of the District of Puerto Rico announced today.

The defendants face charges ranging from conspiracy, false statements, wire fraud, federal program fraud and tax crimes related to campaign financing for the governor’s 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 campaign for Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and subsequent 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to defraud the United States and violate various Federal Election Campaign Act provisions by having Puerto Rico businessmen make illegal and unreported contributions to pay off large and unreported debts stemming from Acevedo Vila’s 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 campaigns for Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Payments were made principally to the public relations and media company for the campaigns. The illegal actions continued into 2003, due to the significant debt accumulated by the campaigns, some of which was also concealed from the FEC and the public.

Acevedo Vila and legal advisor, defendant Inclan Bird, solicited, accepted, and then reimbursed illegal conduit contributions from Acevedo Vila’s family members and staff. Conduit contributions are illegal campaign contributions made by one person in the name of another person. In addition, a group of Philadelphia-area businessmen solicited, accepted, and then reimbursed illegal conduit contributions from their own Philadelphia-area family members and staff for defendant Acevedo Vila. Acevedo Vila, in his official capacity, then personally assisted the businessmen in their attempts to obtain contracts from Puerto Rico government agencies for themselves or their clients.

The indictment also alleges a scheme to defraud the Puerto Rico Treasury Department of $7 million by fraudulently pledging to abide by a voluntary public funding law in defendant Acevedo Vila’s 2004 successful campaign for governor of Puerto Rico. The funding law required a cap on campaign spending and required full reporting of all contributions and expenditures. In exchange, the Treasury Department provided up to $7 million of public funds to the candidate’s campaign.

The indictment alleges that defendant Acevedo Vila and his associates conducted unreported fund-raising and made unrecorded vendor payments for the 2004 campaign in order to raise and spend far more than the limited amount to which they had agreed. According to the indictment, one significant aspect of this fraud was to have Puerto Rico businessmen (described as collaborators) use large amounts of money from their personal or corporate funds to pay for large and unreported debts to the campaign’s public relations and media company. Large sums of cash were also used to keep contributions and vendor payments concealed from the Treasury Department and the public.

As further alleged in the indictment, for many of the collaborator payments the media company created fake invoices to make the payments appear to be legitimate business expenses of the contributors’ companies. The indictment charges Jose Gonzalez Freyre, one of these contributors, with falsely claiming that a $50,000 invoice was real and that bona fide services had been provided to his company in exchange for the payment, when in fact, the invoice was fake and the $50,000 payment was part of the unrecorded fundraising and expenditure scheme.

In related illegal actions alleged in the indictment, Acevedo Vila, aided by Inclan Bird, accepted numerous forms of personal income from funds related to his campaigns or official position, which he failed to report as required on his income tax returns.

“This indictment demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. Candidates for office and elected officials will be held accountable for corrupting the electoral process by disregarding campaign financing laws. Electoral fraud undermines the essence of our representative form of government, and operates to the detriment of every Puerto Rican,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez.

“The Department of Justice will continue to enforce public corruption laws which are designed to protect citizens’ right to honest and fair government representation,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher.

“Our democratic system cannot function when public officials act as though they are above the law. Public officials must comply with the law and those who do not comply will be held accountable,” said Luis Fraticelli, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Juan Field Office.

“Today’s indictment is a reminder that the tax laws apply equally to everyone. No one is above the law. It is the responsibility of every taxpayer to file correct and accurate income tax returns,” said Michael E. Yasofsky, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Miami Field Office.

The defendants and their individual charges are as follows:

(1) Anibal Acevedo Vila, 48, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy, false statements, wire fraud, federal program fraud, and tax crimes. Defendant Acevedo Vila was Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 through 2005, and has been the Governor of Puerto Rico since 2005;

(2) Candido Negron Mella, 41, of Glenn Mills, Penn., is charged with conspiracy and false statements. Negron Mella is a Philadelphia businessman and was designated by defendant Acevedo Vila as his U.S. deputy campaign finance chairman (Resident Commissioner campaign) in 2002;

(3) Salvatore Avanzato, 69, of Boothwyn, Penn., is charged with conspiracy. Avanzato is a Philadelphia-area businessman;

(4) Jorge Velasco Mella, 38, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy and false statements. Velasco Mella, a cousin of Negron Mella, received a job in defendant Acevedo Vila’s San Juan Resident Commissioner office and assisted in the handling of campaign contributions;

(5) Robert M. Feldman, 60, of Gladwyne, Penn., is charged with conspiracy. Feldman is a Philadelphia-area political and business consultant and was designated by defendant Acevedo Vila as his U.S. campaign finance chairman (Resident Commissioner campaign) in 2002;

(6) Marvin I. Block, 74, of Philadelphia is charged with conspiracy. Block is a Philadelphia-area businessman and lawyer;

(7) Ramon Velasco Escardille, 49, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy, false statements and wire fraud. Velasco Escardille was defendant Acevedo Vila’s Resident Commissioner campaign treasurer;

(8) Edwin Colon Rodriguez, 35, of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy and false statements. He is also charged with embezzlement in a separate indictment unsealed today. Colon Rodriguez was defendant Acevedo Vila’s Resident Commissioner campaign assistant treasurer;

(9) Eneidy Coreano Salgado, 40, of Rockville, Md., is charged with conspiracy. Coreano Salgado was defendant Acevedo Vila’s administrative director in his Washington, D.C. Resident Commissioner office;

(10) Luisa Inclan Bird, 47, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and federal program fraud. Inclan Bird was a legal advisor for defendant Acevedo Vila’s San Juan office and volunteered in his 2004 gubernatorial campaign’s finance department. Currently, she is a senior advisor for Governor Acevedo Vila;

(11) Miguel Nazario Franco, 60, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with wire fraud and federal program fraud. Nazario Franco volunteered in defendant Acevedo Vila’s 2004 gubernatorial campaign finance department, and is currently a businessman in Puerto Rico.

(12) Ricardo Colon Padilla, 39, of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, is charged with wire fraud, federal program fraud and false statements. Colon Padilla was the finance director for defendant Acevedo Vila’s political party during his 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

(13) Jose Gonzalez Freyre, 56, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is charged with wire fraud and false statements. Gonzalez Freyre is the owner of Pan American Grain, a Puerto Rico agricultural company, which contributed at least $50,000 to defendant Acevedo Vila’s 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

Each count carries the following maximum prison terms and fines, along with terms of supervised release:

Count one (conspiracy): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts two through nine (false statements to the FEC and federal agents): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts 10 through 21 (wire fraud): 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Count 22 (program fraud – obtaining money by fraud): 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts 23 and 24 (false statements to the FBI and IRS: five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Count 25 (conspiracy to defraud the IRS): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts 26 and 27 (filing false tax return): three years in prison and a $100,000 fine;

This case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria A. Dominguez of the District of Puerto Rico and Trial Attorney Daniel A. Schwager of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The Public Integrity Section is headed by Chief William M. Welch, II. The case is being investigated by the FBI and IRS, with assistance and cooperation from the Office of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico.

The investigation into related corruption and other crimes is ongoing in the District of Puerto Rico. An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

Contact: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, +1-202-514-2007, or TDD, +1-202-514-1888

Puerto Rican Governor Faces 19 Counts

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

By MANUEL ERNESTO RIVERA
Associated Press (March 27, 2008)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila was charged Thursday with 19 counts in a campaign finance probe, including conspiracy to violate U.S. federal campaign laws and giving false testimony to the FBI.

The indictment also charged 12 others associated with Acevedo’s Popular Democratic Party as a result of a two-year grand jury investigation, acting U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said.

The 13 are accused of conspiring to illegally raise money to pay off Acevedo’s campaign debts from his 2000 campaign to be the U.S. island territory’s nonvoting member of Congress.

Acevedo, now running for re-election as governor, will not be arrested, Rodriguez said. But at least five others named in the indictment were led in handcuffs into the U.S. federal building in San Juan early Thursday morning.

“The governor will be permitted to turn himself in deference to his position,” she said.

Acevedo has called the campaign finance probe a case of political persecution by federal officials, partly for his criticism of a September 2005 FBI raid in which a fugitive militant Puerto Rican independence leader was killed.

His allegation has support in Puerto Rico, where many feel a deep-rooted nationalism and hostility toward the U.S. federal government.

A Harvard-educated attorney and career politician, Acevedo, 45, served in Washington as the island’s nonvoting delegate to Congress, and was elected governor in 2004 after campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.

Acevedo’s party favors maintaining the island’s semiautonomous relationship with the U.S. mainland. His leading opponent in this year’s governor’s race favors making Puerto Rico the 51st state.

OUR WOMEN, OUR STRUGGLE by Melissa Montero

Monday, July 9th, 2007

PLEASE FORWARD!!!

Hello Community:

As some of you may know, I, Melissa Montero have been working on my documentary: Our Women, Our Struggle for the past three and a half years. It’s really been a great opportunity to work on such a powerful project. It’s a work of love.

At the moment I am raising funds to continue production in August and for the next few months ahead. I am reaching out to as many sources as I can such as grants, foundations, and private donors.

I am asking you to help this year by giving a donation to Our Women, Our Struggle. If you are interested in donating you can personally reach me at zoemontero@hotmail.com or melissa@ourwomenourstruggle.com.

To view my trailer pls go to www.myspace.com/melissazm or
www.ourwomenourstruggle.com

Our Women Our Struggle Trailer

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Brief Synopsis:
Our Women, Our Struggle (working title) is a compelling hour-long documentary that chronicles the lives of three Puerto Rican revolutionary women – Isabel Rosado, Lolita Lebron, and Dylcia Pagan — who dedicated their lives to the Puerto Rican Independence movement and as a result were subjected to FBI surveillance and each spent many years in prison. The women will speak about their persecution and involvement in the historical struggle for Puerto Rican Independence on the island and in the Diaspora.

Collectively, these three women served over 50 years in federal prison as a consequence of their radical political activism. Doña Isabel Rosado was sentenced to 17 years in prison, serving thirteen. Doña Lolita Lebron was first sentenced to death but later the sentence was changed to 56 years. She served 25 years in prison. Doña Dylcia Pagan was sentenced to 55 years and served 19. They take us through seven decades of struggle.

Our Women, Our Struggle will give the women a voice to speak about their persecution and involvement in the historical struggle for Puerto Rican Independence on the island and in the Diaspora. This documentary will also include interviews with secondary subjects who will add to our understanding of Puerto Rican History, the community at that time, the role of these women, and the U.S. approach to dissidents.

If you require additional information about Our Women, Our Struggle, please contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You may also visit www.ourwomenourstruggle.com for more details about the documentary.

I thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to whatever support you can provide. I couldn’t do it without the generosity of donors like yourself.

Thank you,

Melissa Montero

FBI Destroying Records

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Congressman José E. Serrano
Representing the Sixteenth District of New York

Serrano to FBI: Destroying Records is Counterproductive to Gov’t Openness

Washington, DC – August 22, 2006- Congressman José E. Serrano sent the following letter to the FBI late last week in response to recent revelations that the Puerto Rico field office destroyed certain records in the past. Serrano asked that the Bureau immediately suspend any further destruction of records. In 2000, Serrano and then-director Louis Freeh initiated a years-long effort to promote openness and accountability by the FBI in Puerto Rico.

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August 17, 2006

Robert S. Mueller, III, Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building

Dear Director Mueller:

As you know, I and other members of the Puerto Rican community have been grateful for your continued cooperation in the initiative by your predecessor, Louis Freeh, to disclose files related to the Bureau’s actions against supporters of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. These files have been invaluable in building the historical record of this dark period in our nation’s history, and it is my ongoing interest in this subject that inspires this letter.

It has been brought to my attention that the San Juan field office destroyed certain records on the independence movement in February of 1989. This information came to light as the result of a Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act request by Jan Susler of the People’s Law Office.

I write to request that, notwithstanding any standard procedure, you suspend any further destruction of records concerning organizations and individuals related to the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. I would also like to request documentation of the destruction of any such records to date, and their former locations before they were destroyed.

Given the fact that the recent release of the Inspector General’s report on the Ojeda Ríos incident has done little to allay concerns about the Bureau’s modus operandi in Puerto Rico, I believe that the your continued commitment to the preservation and disclosure of these files will be essential to improving the Bureau’s image on the island.

Thank you for your attention to these concerns. I look forward to continuing our cooperation on this matter.

Sincerely,

José E. Serrano
Member of Congress

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Congressman José E. Serrano has represented the Bronx in Congress since 1990. He is the longest serving Member of Puerto Rican descent.

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