By Resumen Latinoamericano North America Bureau on June 10, 2105
On June 10, the New York City Council passed a resolution in support of Puerto Rican Independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera. The document begins by saying, “This resolution calls upon President Obama to grant clemency to Lopez Rivera, so that he is immediately released from prison, considering that his continued incarceration is unjust and serves no legitimate purpose.”
“The Resolution calls attention to the plight of Oscar Lopez Rivera, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and community activist. Lopez Rivera has served over 33 years of incarceration in federal prison for the conviction of seditious conspiracy based upon his work to advance the movement for the independence of Puerto Rico”.
“The Resolution discusses Lopez Rivera service to the United States military, community service in the underserved areas of Chicago, Illinois. The Resolution points out the disproportionate punishment or 55 years in prison he received for his alleged offenses in 1981 and his subsequent sentence in 1988 of an additional 15 years in prison for conspiracy to escape from prison”.
The resolution also stated, “As of today, Lopez Rivera is 72 years old and has served over 33 years in federal prison. He has served 12 years of his sentence in isolation with little to no human contact in a small cell for 23 hours per day. All of his co-defendants that have been released from prison have been able to live productive lives. Among the many dignitaries to call for Lopez Rivera’s freedom are: former President Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The United Nation has passed a resolution every year since 2001 calling for Lopez Rivera’s release”.