Puerto Rican Political Prisoners

History of Colonialism of Puerto Rico

   For over 500 years Puerto Rico has been a colony, first of Spain, and then of the United States. In 1898, at the conclusion of the war between Spain and the United States, Puerto Rico was made a colony of the US, without having consulted the Puerto Ricans in violation of the Charter of Autonomy signed by Spain and Puerto Rico. Over the years Puerto Rican economy was altered and destroyed, its money devalued, citizenship imposed to facilitate drafting Puerto Rican men to fight in US' wars, imposed teaching the English language, polluted its air, land, and water. More than 21 United States military bases have been  installed on the island of Vieques.
   International law denounces colonialism as a crime and recognizes the peoples' right to end colonialism by any means at their disposal. This is what these women and men did and for that they are serving sentences disproportionately long, for what they believed in and had a right to do under international law, not for what they did.
   The sentences received by these man and women are excessive and punitive, designed to penalize political activism, militancy, and affiliation. Ten of the 14 arrested between 1980 and 1983 received sentences between 55 and 90 years, and average of 70.8 for the men and 72.8 for the women. These are sentences that are 19 times longer than the average sentence given out at the same year. Of those arrested in the Wells Fargo case, 2 were sentenced to more than 50 years in prison.
   Common prisoners, those who commit criminal offenses, receive much shorter sentences. Statistic from the federal court system show that between 1966 and 1985 the average sentence for a guilty murder verdict was 22.7 years, for rape 12.5 years, arms violation 12 years. Only 12.8% of all federal prisoners have received sentences of more than 20 years. Statistic show that people with previous criminal records receive longer sentences than those who have no prior record. None of these Puerto Rican patriots had a prior criminal record when arrested.
   Between 1980 and 1985 around 30 persons were accused of conspiring to overthrow the federal government in Puerto Rico using armed forces. In 1980 14 persons accused of being members of the armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) were arrested. When captured they declared their status as POWs. So now they are serving sentences from 35 to 90 years.
   In August of 1985, hundreds of FBI agents descended on Puerto Rico, searched houses of independence supporters. Sixteen were arrested, some accused of being members of the clandestine group, "Los Macheteros," the group that took responsibility for robbing $7.5 million from Wells Fargo, money supposedly used to buy toys for poor Puerto Rican children. Two of these people were found innocent and the rest received sentences from 5 to 55 years. Seven have completed their sentences.
These previous two paragraphs were quoted from

Four Patriots who wouldn't agree to the conditions that the United States wanted to impose on them

Antonio Camacho Negrón #03587-069
MDC Guaynabo
PO Box 2147
San Juan, PR 00922-2147

   Antonio was born October 6, 1945 in Yauco, Puerto Rico. His family has lived for generations in that coffee growing region and he was raised a farmer. He also studied psychology at the University of Puerto Rico and 2 years of law at the Interamericana University. He has worked as a therapist with the Department of Services combating drug addiction. At the time of his arrest he was working as an auto mechanic and was the sole supporter of his family.
   Antonio was arrested in 1986 for conspiracy to commit robbery of the Wells Fargo Company in Hartford, CT, and transportation of said money. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Antonio has 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl, who live in Puerto Rico. During his incarceration Antonio's father died but he was not allowed to attend the funeral. He has also become an accomplished poet and proser during these years.
   Antonio was released February 13, 1998. He returned to Puerto Rico immediately and was greeted with a hero's welcome. The terms of his release required that he report to the Federal Magistrate every 72 hours. He found those terms humiliating as well as a manifestation of United States colonialism and refused to participate. Antonio was rearrested April 16,1998 and spirited off to Miami, Florida, before even having an opportunity to consult with his lawyers. In January, 1999, he was sent back to FCI Allenwood, after 8 months in a federal detention center, to serve another four years before he is eligible for release once again.

Send Email to demanding that Antonio Camacho Negrón be freed with no parole whatsoever or we will boycott the entire United States for tourism and products.

Juan Segarra Palmer #15357-077
PO Box 819, FCI-Med. A-3/4, Coleman, Fl 33521

Juan was born March 6, 1950 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He comes from a family with a long history of resistance to both Spanish and US colonialism. He followed that tradition with pride. Since 1970, Juan had been dedicated to the struggle for independence, participated in different capacities with the Young Lords, Los Macheteros, the PSP and the PIP. He's also done political and cultural work with the inmates in Massachusetts, in the community in New York, and with those that opposed mining, nuclear tests, and squatting in Puerto Rico. He's worked in the defense of workers' rights and for the expansion of democracy within the unions. The Vietnam War, his trips to Mexico, and the life in New York enriched his political conscience. Juan graduated from Harvard University and continued his studies in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He has worked as a machinist and as a building superintendent.
   In 1985 Juan was arrested, accused of seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to rob the Wells Fargo company. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison. He's married to Luz Berrios, a former political prisoner and together they have five children, Wanda, Luriza, Amílcar, Ramón, and Zulena (who was born in prison).

Contact Governor Jeb Bush at or at The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001, Fax (850) 487-0801 or by telephone at (850) 488-4441.
Tell Governor Bush that you won't visit Florida on vacation or purchase the products the state produces until Juan is freed and provided the means by which he can afford to pay for wherever he chooses to live and his criminal record expunged.

Oscar López Rivera #87651-024
PO Box 33, Terre Haute, IN 47808

   Oscar was born January 6, 1943 in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. When he was 14 years old his family came to the US to live. He was drafted into the US Army and fought in the Vietnam War for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. Upon returning from the war in 1967, he found that problems with drugs, unemployment, housing , health, and education had reached alarming levels and he immediately went to work organizing the community to improve the quality of life for his people. He worked in the creation of the Puerto Rican High School and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. He was involved in the struggle for bilingual education in public schools and to assure that the universities actively recruit Hispanic students and faculty. He helped found educational programs at the maximum security prison at Stateville, IL. He also fought in the community against drugs and police brutality and against discrimination practices of the public utilities, such as the telephone, gas, and electric companies.
   Oscar was captured in 1981 and sentenced to 55 years in prison for seditious conspiracy. In 1988 he received another 15 years for conspiracy to escape. He has a daughter, Clarissa, and a granddaughter, Karina. Since 1986, Oscar has been imprisoned in the most maximum security prisons in the federal penal system, with restricted non-contact visits. Therefore, his granddaughter, Karina, has never known her grandfather's touch. Oscar's mother, Mita, who suffered from Alzheimer's, passed away on February 14, 1997. He grieved alone within the cement walls of his cell, unable to even attend her funeral. His release date is 2021.

   Contact Governor Frank O'Bannon, Office of the Governor, 206 State House, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797 USA (317) 232-4567 Fax (317) 232-3443 1-800 457-8283 (Indiana residents only)Email: and tell him that you won't visit Indiana or purchase the products it produces until Oscar is freed, provided resources to go home, and expunges his record.

Carlos Alberto Torres #88976-024
PO Box 1000, Oxford, WI 53952

Carlos Alberto was born September 19, 1952 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. When he was 6 years old, his family  emigrated to New York and then to Chicago in 1962. He was raised in his father's home, a minister with a passion for social justice. His step-mother is Alejandrina Torres, also a prisoner for the same cause. In his third year of high school he participated in the first class on Puerto Rican history, offered by Aspira. He studied sociology in Southern Illinois University and continued his studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago. There he participated in the struggles against the racist teachings of sociologists Schockley and Critenden. He also was involved in recruitment of new Hispanic students for the university. He actively participated in issues in the community related to police brutality, slum landlords, corrupt politicians, and the colonial case of Puerto Rico.
   In 1980 Carlos Alberto was arrested and accused of seditions conspiracy and related charges and sentenced to 78 years in prison. Upon his arrest, his daughter, Clarrissa, was taken out of the country for fear that the government would make good on their threats of hurting her. In prison he has worked as a baker, a gardener, he's attended classes and has taught Spanish to other  prisoners. He has also developed his talents as a painter. His release date is 2024.

   To release Carlos Alberto Torres now, contact Governor Scott McCallum, Office of the Governor, 115 East State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702 (608) 266-1212 Fax (608) 266-3970 Email:
   Tell theGovernor that you won't visit Wisconsin on vacation or purchase the products Wisconsin produces until he frees Carlos, provides resources for him to go home, and expunges his record.


TRUE DEMOCRACY     SPRING 2001     Copyright © 2001 by News Sourse, Inc.