On February 7, at 9:30 AM, FBI operatives detained Avelino González Claudio, a 65-year-old Puerto Rican independence activist. Avelino González had been sought by that agency since 1983, in connection with their investigation of the Macheteros. The Macheteros are a clandestine pro independence organization, which has been operating in Puerto Rico since July of 1978. Avelino was detained at the Monaco residential neighborhood, in the town of Manatí, which is situated in the northern coast of Puerto Rico.
According to the FBI, Avelino is to face charges for the Machetero expropriation of $7 million from a Wells Fargo armored truck in Hartford Connecticut, which took place on September 12 of 1983. To this date, Norberto González Claudio, (Avelino’s brother,) and Victor Gerena, who are also wanted, are still at large.
The FBI transported Avelino González to the Federal prison in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. They have stated that he will be taken to Hartford Connecticut, where he will be tried for the Machetero operation against Wells Fargo.
After the arrest, independence activists held a series of demonstrations outside of the Federal Court in Hato Rey Puerto Rico. The groups supporting Avelino include La Nueva Escuela, a grass roots organization which emerged after the murder of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos at the hands of the FBI, and the Puerto Rican Human Rights Committee, which seeks the release of Puerto Rican Political Prisoners Oscar López Rivera and Carlos Alberto Torres. As we go to press, Avelino remains in custody in Puerto Rico.