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Puerto Rican Diaspora, Human Rights Issues part of Comprehensive National Puerto Rican Agenda

For immediate release
October 9, 2015

L. Alejandro Molina

Encuentro Nacional del la Diaspora Gather National and Local Officials to Call on
Washington for Action on Fiscal, Human Rights Crises

CHICAGO, IL – On October 14th, Puerto Rican leaders and advocates of human rights issues of Puerto Rican diaspora will arrive in Orlando for a two-day meeting to develop a national Puerto Rican agenda.

The Convening will provide actionable strategies to address the major issues facing the Commonwealth: Fiscal Crisis, Health Care Crisis, Human Rights and Civic Engagement, and Climate Change and Infrastructure Support. One of the issues to be presented by the Human Rights and Civic Engagement panel is the case of Oscar López Rivera, the 72 year old Vietnam Veteran convicted of seditious conspiracy, who has spent the last 34 years in federal prisons, 12 of them in total isolation. Advocates who are pressing President Obama for a presidential pardon include labor (AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)); the New York City Council, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; churches and religious leaders including the United Church of Christ in the U.S. and the Catholic Bishops of Puerto Rico; the United Nations Decolonization Committee, five members of Congress, the governor of Puerto Rico, six presidents of Latin American nations, as well as four of your fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Civic leaders, government officials from 10 states, and other stakeholders are expected to attend. The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera will be represented by members from NY, IL, OH, and NJ. The attendees from Chicago are: Luis Rosa, former political prisoner, Lourdes Lugo, community activist and niece of Oscar López Rivera, L. Alejandro Molina, all members of the National Boricua Human Rights Network and José E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and brother of Oscar López Rivera.

In addition, the following members of the Puerto Rican Agenda will be participating in the Encounter in Orlando: Ada N. López, ex-Trustee , University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Billy Ocasio, Executive Director, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, David Hernández, President, Board of Directors, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, Debbie López, President, Chicago Chapter, National Organization of Puerto Rican Women, Eduardo Arocho, Executive Director, Division Street Business Development Association,  Eliud Medina, Executive Director, Near Northwest Neighborhood Network, Fernando Grillo, Chairman, Board of Directors of ASPIRA of Illinois, Hilda Frontany, Board of Directors, Hipolito Roldan, Executive Director, Hispanic Housing, Javier Caro, ex-member, Illinois State Commission on Licensing, Mayra Estrella, Program Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Michael Rodríguez Muñiz, Post-doctoral, Sociology, University of Chicago, Mike Vargas Inspector Supervisor City of Chicago, Department of Transportation, Pablo Medina, ex-member, City of Chicago Human Relations Commission, Ray Vázquez, ex-Commissioner, Dept of Human Services, Sandra Candelaria, Program Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Veronica Ocasio, Chief of Staff, New Life Convenant Church.

Elected Officials Attending:

Luis V. Gutierrez Congressman, 4th District (D-IL)

Iris Martinez State Sen. 20th Dist.

Luis Arroyo Sr. State Rep. 3rd

WHO: Unidos Por Puerto Rico, Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Luis Gutiérrez, Jose Serrano, NYC Council President Melissa Mark Viverito, leaders of the Puerto Rican diaspora, local and regional government officials

WHAT:  National gathering of leaders to call for action on Puerto Rican crises.

WHERE: Welcome Reception held at Acacia’s El Centro Borinqueño (formerly Asociación Borinqueña)on Tuesday, Oct. 13th, 2015, 6-9pm.

1865 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida  32817

WHEN: October 14th, 2015, 8-3pm.

More information:

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