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HomeAbout NBHRNHuman RightsJustice says that evidence reveals Ojeda Ríos was assassinated

Justice says that evidence reveals Ojeda Ríos was assassinated

Case closed: Justice says that evidence reveals Ojeda Rí­os was assassinated, but will not bring charges against FBI agents

By Eugenio Hopgood
April 9, 2008

Attorney General Roberto Sánchez Ramos revealed today that scientific evidence compiled by the Institute of Forensic Sciences in the death of Machetero leader Filiberto Ojeda Ríos shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent who fired the fatal shot lied when he justified his act.

Regardless, Sánchez Ramos indicated in an extensive presentation that the Department of Justice closed its investigation because it lacks sufficient evidence to accuse the federal agents of criminal charges to prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

He said he would ask federal congressional representatives of pertinent committees to initiate a legislative investigation into the death, and urged resident commissioner Luis Fortuño to join these efforts to shed light on the facts, once and for all.

The evidence compiled by the IFS determined that the agent identified by the pseudonym “Bryan” could not have seen Ojeda Ríos, as affirmed by the investigators of the Office of Investigator General (OIG) due to the conditions of visibility of the window, located 19′ feet away, during dusk on September 23, 2005.

“Bryan” told that federal office that he fired because he could see Ojeda Rí­os pointing a gun at him from inside the residence.

Sánchez Ramos maintained that the FBI’s rules for the use of deadly force prohibit an agent from shooting through a closed door; and that he understood that shooting through a window through which there was no view to the inside of the home would also violate those rules.

It was established that the trajectory of the bullet first pierced the refrigerator before hitting Ojeda Ríos’ body.

On the other hand, pathologist Francisco Cortés reported that the IFS estimated that Ojeda Ríos lasted 15 to 30 minutes before bleeding to death after having been shot.

Sánchez Ramos made the reservation that various experts had different opinions, some of whom said it took considerably longer for him to die.

The Attorney General indicated that they did consider the possibility of bringing charges of manslaughter against the federal agents, under the premise that Ojeda Rí­os bleed to death due to the fact that he was not provided medical assistance in time.

Nonetheless, said the official, they didn’t make the accusations due to the fact that they could not establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that such an intervention would necessarily have saved the life of the Machetero leader.

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