Widow Honors Memory of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos

The last six years of Elma Beatriz Rosado’s life has been marked by a profound absence, the death of her late husband and pro-independence revolutionary Filiberto Ojeda Ríos. [See previous post The Puerto Rico Civil Rights Commission Investigates the Death of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos.] However, since that fateful day, when Ojeda Ríos died at the hands of the FBI on September 23, 2005, she decided to honor his memory by promoting education about the independence of Puerto Rico.

Rosado, who studied biology, is now the main spokesperson for the Foundation in honor of her late husband.  “Foundations usually have a commemorative style, but that style is not consistent with what he was, with his way of life and his work.” The main objective of the organization is to “continue the same struggle for independence and the ideals he followed,” she says. For this purpose, the foundation holds a trove of documents indicating the route to follow, which includes the strengthening of Puerto Rican culture and providing excellence in education.

Foundation members have already published a book entitled Soy soñador porque soy revolucionario [I am a dreamer because I am a revolutionary] and they working on publishing some of his forthcoming projects, such as the publication of a poetry collection and editing of a documentary about his violent death. Rosado says, “In Puerto Rico, everyone understands that it was a murder, but we want to take it to the U.S. [. . .] There is an impression that political assassinations occurred [only] in the 1960s, but it is not the case.”

On Friday, September 23, 2005, the FBI surrounded the couple’s residence in Hormigueros. Many people couldn’t believe that after 15 years that the pro-independence leader spent evading federal authorities, they had finally found his whereabouts. On the instructions of her lawyers, Rosado cannot speak of the details of those agonizing hours preceding the patriot’s death. She says, “I cannot speak of it… But one thing is certain: I have nothing to regret. I have tried to live my life in the best possible way.” [. . .] In her view, the FBI “went straight to kill Filiberto rather than trying to arrest him because he was the unifying voice of the independence movement and that fact apparently bothered the FBI quite a lot. In addition, he made a laughingstock of the FBI for 15 years. His murder is the confirmation of a failure, because it put into question their abilities.”

Despite this conviction, she has no hope that the people who planned and carried out his death will be judged, but at least she got the federal agents to return valuable objects that they had taken from the house as trophies after their sting operation.

Rosado understands that the independence of Puerto Rico will remain distant “as long as a large number of Puerto Ricans are more concerned with material matters. [. . .]” Furthermore, international support is increasingly more difficult to obtain because in other countries “they believe that here there is no struggle… they assume that we have given up,” she laments.

When asked whether her husband was a romantic, she answers, “Yes. He was a very warm man, a man of a great humanism; attentive to details… always was aware of everything. The energy that he radiated was electrifying… For me, he was a faraway place, genuine, special, full of ideas and principles. It was a magical experience. He was a being of light.”

For original article (in Spanish), see http://www.primerahora.com/seisanossinfilibertoojedarios-otraspanorama-noticias-nota-556291.html#.TnycsKgeuBU.facebook

Also see http://ourlatinamerica.blogspot.com/2008/09/todays-video-death-of-filiberto-ojeda.html  and http://www.aporrea.org/ddhh/n189127.html

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