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HomeFeatured StoryAlejandrina Torres & Ricardo Jiménez—We are going to free Oscar López!

Alejandrina Torres & Ricardo Jiménez—We are going to free Oscar López!

By Miguel Morales, National Boricua Human Rights Network Coordinating Committee

Friday, November 12, 2010

Family, friends and supporters of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera gathered together Friday evening to hear the inspiring words of Alejandrina Torres and Ricardo Jiménez.  Both former political prisoners themselves, Alejandrina and Ricardo urged the audience to collect petitions for the release of Oscar, whose parole hearing date is set for the first week of January 2011. The two patriots poignantly recounted their own struggles in prison and the tremendous labor of securing their freedom in 1999—a victory made bittersweet because compañeros Carlos Alberto Torres, Haydeé Beltrán and Oscar remained incarcerated. Yet their message remained hopeful—Carlos was released on July 26 this year after a huge campaign that yielded 20,000 signatures pressuring the Parole Board for his release. The National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN) and other supporters nationwide and in Puerto Rico have begun another campaign to complete that victory—that of freeing all long-term Puerto Rican political prisoners.

Oscar López has been incarcerated for nearly 30 years for his participation in the struggle to fight for the independence of Puerto Rico. He was not accused or convicted of causing harm or taking a life. In our 500+ yearlong struggle against colonialism, Oscar has become the longest held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico.

The event also featured a new NBHRN slideshow focused on Oscar, which included him speaking about the independence struggle and the impact of his incarceration on his family. Michelle Morales, emcee, introduced José López, Oscar’s brother and the Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago.  That evening, over 50 people pledged to collect close to 4,000 letters to President Obama and the Parole Board urging the release of Oscar López.

You can also participate in this campaign by:

  • Stop by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (2739 W Division Street) and pick up letters;
  • Download a letter online and make copies;
  • Please visit the website for the latest information on the campaign to free Oscar.

Purchase your Reyes Magos Plate by Oscar to benefit the children of Vieques

Read "Between Torture and Resistance"

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