Tuesday, February 26, 2008 Primera Hora
Puerto Rican Avelino González Claudio was extradited today to Hartford, Connecticut, according to the Tuesday report of Hilton Fernández Diamante, spokesperson for the Committee of Friends and Family.
The accused, who was a fugitive for 22 years, was arrested three weeks ago for supposedly participating in the theft of seven million dollars from an armored car belonging to the Wells Fargo armored car company in Hartford, Connecticut on September 12, 1983.
The FBI connects González Claudio with the clandestine organization Boricua Popular Army-Macheteros, whose leader, Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, died after an FBI agent shot him on September 23, 2005.
Federal magistrate Marcos López had denied González Claudio’s motion for bail and ordered his immediate extradition to that state.
Last Saturday, González Claudio received a legal visit that confirmed he was still held in the maximum security unit of the federal institution Metropolitan Correctional Center (MDC), reported Fernández Diamante in a press release.
On Monday, attorney Juan R. Acevedo tried to meet with his client and was notified that Avelino had been transferred to the Federal Court so that the marshals could assume jurisdiction in the extradition process, he added.
“Avelino’s extradition is contrary to the statement he made to magistrate López the day of his arrest when he declared he was a political prisoner and asked the court to recognize the right under international law to recognize and respect the struggle of people for their right to freedom and to be judged in their homeland,” said Fernández Diamante.
They have violated the compañero’s right to receive visits from his immediate family. They took him away from Puerto Rico without the opportunity to see his wife and children, or at least talk with them on the telephone,” denounced the Committee’s spokesperson.
He added that the family is waiting to be informed of González Claudio’s destination.
The FBI considers the Macheteros to be a terrorist organization. The independence movement, on the other hand, has for decades accused the United States of political persecution.