On April 4, over 200 people crowded into Casa Puertorriqueña for the National Boricua Human Rights Network’s (NBHRN) annual fundraiser, entitled “Legacies of Corretjer: Narratives of Resistance and Struggle.” The evening also commemorated the 1980 April 4th arrest and incarceration of 15 Puerto Rican political prisoners (two prisoners, Oscar López Rivera and Carlos Alberto Torres, are still incarcerated). The event featured a performance by Orchestra Mapeyé, a musical group that plays traditional Puerto Rican music, and Siete Nueve, a socially conscious hip-hop artist from Villa Palmeras, Puerto Rico. Eduardo Villanueva, former head of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, spoke movingly about the legacy of Juan Antonio Corretjer, the former Secretary-General of the Nationalist Party whose 100th birthday provided the theme for the evening. Alicia Rodríguez, former political prisoner, along with Tania Frontera, a grand jury resister from New York, were honored by the NBHRN for their continuation of Corretjer’s work. The event also included a slide show of historic and current images, compiled by Jonathon Rivera. In attendance for the evening were community activists and residents, as well as local and national political leaders, including Congressmen Luis Gutiérrez. A highlight of the evening occurred when Mapeyé dedicated a song about the situation of undocumented Mexican immigrants to Flor Crisostomo from Adalberto United Methodist Church, an institution that works on immigration issues.
See “April 4th Concert with Orquesta Mapeyé” for flickr photo slide show of the event.