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FBI Kills Pueto Rican Independence Leader PDF Print E-mail
Filiberto Ojeda R?os, 72, a veteran fighter against U.S. colonial rule over Puerto Rico, was killed Sept. 23 in a massive raid by U.S. security forces near the Puerto Rican town of Hormigueros.

For the past four decades Filiberto Ojeda Rios had been a leading figure in the fight for Puerto Rican independence and against U.S. colonial rule. He was wanted by the FBI for his role in a 1983 bank heist.

A leader of the Macheteros and underground since 1990, Ojeda R?os was one of 15 independence fighters arrested in a 1985 FBI sweep in Puerto Rico and tried in Hartford, Connecticut, on charges of conspiracy to seize $7 million from a Wells Fargo depot.

The FBI carried out its murderous raid on the date of the Grito de Lares, the annual pro-independence celebration of the 1868 anticolonial revolt in Puerto Rico. This assault is part of the U.S. government's long history of using frame-ups and violence to try--unsuccessfully--to stamp out the fight for Puerto Rico's freedom.

An Associated Press article two days after the murder revealed that an autopsy performed on Ojeda Rios' body indicated that he did not die immediately, a Justice Department statement that fueled criticism of the FBI for waiting almost 24 hours to enter the farmhouse where the fugitive lay wounded.

Independence activists have accused the FBI of assassinating Ojeda Rios.

"They did not come to arrest Filiberto Ojeda, they came to kill him," said Hector Pesquera, president of the Hostosiano independence movement.

For more information, check out Democracy Now!'s coverage of the assassination and Puerto Rico Indymedia.

Read the text of Filiberto's last speech (Spanish).

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