Oscar López Rivera’s 32 Years of Resistance to Torture
--Will President Obama pardon the longest held Independentista?
By Hans Bennett
(First published by Upside Down World on May 29, 2013. Permission is granted to reprint in full as long as Upside Down World is cited, with a link to the original article.)
“It is much easier not to struggle, to give up and take the path of the living dead. But if we want to live, we must struggle.” –Oscar López Rivera, 1991
Today, May 29, marks 32 years since Puerto Rican activist Oscar López Rivera was arrested and later convicted of “seditious conspiracy,” a questionable charge that Archbishop Desmond Tutu has interpreted to mean “conspiring to free his people from the shackles of imperial injustice.”
Today, 70-year-old Oscar López Rivera, never accused of hurting anyone, remains in a cell at FCI Terre Haute, in Indiana. Supporters around the world continue to seek his release, most recently by asking US President Barack Obama for a commutation of his sentence. Similar pardons granted by President Truman in 1952, President Carter in 1979, and President Clinton in 1999, were the legal bases for the release of many other Puerto Rican political prisoners.