Saturday, May 31, 2008

Independentista groups criticize the subpoena of a Puerto Rican to a grand jury in New York

Protests against the feds
Independentista groups criticize the subpoena of a Puerto Rican to a grand jury in New York
By The Associated Press
May 30, 2008

SAN JUAN - A resident of Puerto Rico was subpoenaed to appear in June at a grand jury in New York, denounced today a coalition of independentista organizations.

Michael González Cruz, spokesperson for the coalition Table of Solidarity, indicated that the Puerto Rican, whose name will not be divulged at the moment for personal reasons, was subpoenaed to appear June 13.

“As far as we know, it is the first subpoena in Puerto Rico related to this case,” he told the Associated Press in reference to the violent death of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos at the hands of an FBI agent in an operation to arrest him at his residence in Hormigueros in 2005.

Table of Solidarity is comprised of representatives of eleven independentista organizations which on Friday carried out protests to condemn what they call the continuous intervention of the FBI into the lives of those who struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico.

According to the coalition, the FBI’s interventions are part of a pattern of harassment of independentistas since the federal operation in which an agent shot Ojeda Ríos to death on September 23, 2005, the day the Grito de Lares is commemorated.

Protests in San Juan, Mayagüez and Ponce were carried out on the occasion of the subpoena of a Puerto Rican resident of Texas, Elliot Monteverde, to appear Friday morning before the Grand Jury in New York.

“Monteverde was accompanied by his attorney, Rutgers [sic] Wareham, who took a document positing that his client did not recognize the authority of the grand jury and that he was invoking the Fifth Amendment, and the prosecutor, given this situation, decided to indefinitely postpone the subpoena,” explained González.

He detailed that Monteverde was raised in Mayagüez and studied law at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and that during the struggle to oust the Navy from Vieques, he served in New York as coordinator of a coalition of people and organizations united in that struggle.

Monteverde’s case is added to that of the young independentistas Tania Frontera and Christopher Torres, whose appearances in January before a grand jury in New York were also indefinitely continued.

The organizations that form the coalition include the Puerto Rican Independence Party, the National Hostos Independentista Movement, The New School, the Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico, the Socialist Front, the Federation of Pro Independence University Students, and the National Coordinating Committee of Vigils for Dignity Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, among others.

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