PR Governor Visits Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

Oscar Lopez, an inmate at the new super-maximum-se reports that, in an act of solidarity, Puerto Rico governor Alejandro García Padilla, with Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, visited Oscar López Rivera, the longest-held political prisoner in the United States. 80grados writes that “this action by the leader represents the people of Puerto Rico and the respect that our people have for the principles of a democratic society and the release of Oscar López Rivera, age 71.”

Governor García Padilla stated that “33 years ago, Oscar López Rivera was imprisoned for actions unrelated to violence. On more than one occasion, and through different mass activities and negotiations with the highest levels of the U.S. government, Puerto Ricans have asked President Barack Obama for López Rivera’s release; we reiterate that request today.”

López Rivera has remained in prison for 33 years, 12 of which were spent in solitary confinement.

The governor declared that “The conviction of Oscar López Rivera is not only excessive, it shreds the principles of justice, humanity and sensitivity. It is time for Oscar to go home.”

This is not the first time the governor has shown his concern; in 2013, Governor García Padilla sent a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoner. In the letter, García Padilla pointed out that Rivera was 70 years old and had spent 32 within the federal penal system, being convicted of seditious conspiracy for his ties to the underground group Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). He wrote, “I ask you, Mr. President, to exercise your constitutional power of clemency to commute his sentence and release him. The Puerto Rican people are willing to help in López Rivera’s transition to civil society.”

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