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POLICE STATE / MILITARY -
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F.B.I swoops on Puerto Rican independence movement

Posted in the database on Sunday, February 12th, 2006 @ 19:20:55 MST (1214 views)
by faelnarr    Guerilla News Network  

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Summary:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has swooped on known associations and locations connected to a Puerto Rican pro-independence movement, the People’s Boricua Army.

Their actions have drawn swift reaction from protesters.

“We are here showing our opposition to the FBI’s attitude, to this persecution of our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters,” said Alberto Jesus, known for leading protests against U.S. Navy bombing exercises on Vieques island and attaching flags and banners promoting his cause on New York’s Statue of Liberty in 2000.

“We have here a foreign country that puts the label of terrorist on us.”

[Posted By faelnarr]

By Associated Press
Republished from
The Hartford Courant (Connecticut, U.S)

________________________

FBI Claims Puerto Rico Threat

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—FBI agents in Puerto Rico on Friday searched five homes and a business to thwart what the agency said was a “domestic terrorist attack” planned by militants favoring independence for the U.S. island territory.

The alleged attack would have involved explosives directed at “privately owned interests” and the public in Puerto Rico, according to Luis Fraticelli, special agent in charge of the FBI on the island.

Fraticelli, in a statement, did not disclose details about the alleged attack or the investigation, which the FBI said was focused on the pro-independence People’s Boricua Army.

“The FBI is committed to aggressively investigating all matters related to national security and the safety of the citizens of the United States, to include Puerto Rico,” Fraticelli said.

Agents searched the homes and business in and around the island’s capital, San Juan, and in the smaller towns of Mayaguez, Aguadilla, Isabela and San German.

FBI spokesman Harry Rodriguez said there were no arrests, but declined to provide details of the operation.

“All I can say is that it is an investigation that deals with the People’s Boricua Army,” he said.

The People’s Boricua Army, also known as the Macheteros or “cane cutters,” was accused of bombings and attacks in the 1970s and 1980s.

The group was among three groups that claimed responsibility for a 1979 attack in which gunmen opened fire on a U.S. Navy bus, killing two U.S. sailors.

In September, FBI agents shot and killed Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a leader of the Macheteros wanted for the 1983 robbery of $7.2 million from an armored truck depot in West Hartford. Ojeda Rios allegedly opened fire when they came to arrest him at a farmhouse in a town in the western part of the island.

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated late Friday outside the federal building in San Juan, accusing the FBI of persecuting the pro-independence movement.

They burned an American flag and chanted, “If the Yankees don’t leave, they’ll die in Puerto Rico!”

“We are here showing our opposition to the FBI’s attitude, to this persecution of our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters. I believe that this is an act of abuse and an act of persecution,” said Alberto Jesus, known for leading protests against U.S. Navy bombing exercises on Vieques island. Jesus attached flags and banners promoting his cause to the Statue of Liberty in 2000.

“We have here a foreign country that puts the label of terrorist on us,” he said.



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