Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rechany confirms that the FBI wanted to kill Ojeda Ríos

Rechany confirms that the FBI wanted to kill Ojeda Ríos
Official version of the operation doesn’t square
by Daniel Rivera Vargas /
May 22, 2008

The ex director of the Institute of Forensic Sciences (IFS), Pío Rechany, assured yesterday that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) shot at Filiberto Ojeda Ríos with the intention of killing the independentista leader.

“They were using excessive force to see if they could kill him through the door,” said Rechany during the first day of public hearings convened by the Civil Rights Commission (CRC) in its investigation of Ojeda Ríos’ death.

Rechany, who directed the IFS for 13 years, alluded to three shots in the ceiling of Ojeda Ríos’ house that went through a wooden door that was never open. He said this was a violation of the FBI’s “use of deadly force manual,” because it was not in self defense.

The FBI has denied that it acted illegally in the death of Ojeda Ríos. The report of the Office of Inspector General (OIG), another federal organism, exonerates them.

Rechany commented that during the OIG’s investigation, he had to clarify various things for that agency. The first concerned the shots in the ceiling. The second concerned two bullets that did not reconcile with the weapons the FBI surrendered as those used in the shooting. The OIG said at the beginning that it was an error on the part of the IFS, but later a federal agent surrendered the weapon from which the shots were fired, saying that he hadn’t done so before because he didn’t remember having used it.

Rechany says “Brian” lied

The former chief of the IFS criticized the OIG’s conclusions. “The agents denied the bullets in the door, denied the two shells... which should completely rob them of credibility... (Luis) Fraticelli admitted that he lost control of the scene. How can you conclude that everything was ok?” Rechany posed.

He also speculated that “Brian,” the agent who fired the fatal shot, lied when he said he saw Ojeda Ríos, by the light of the refrigerator, at the moment he shot. He indicated that on the internet you can see that rifles like those used by the FBI come with technology such as infrared lights or heat detectors that would permit them to know exactly where to shoot. Rechany also believes that “Brian” followed a direct order to shoot to kill Ojeda Ríos.

Rechany believes that Ojeda Ríos could have been captured without deadly force­ at the scene they retrieved 107 shells from FBI rifles and 19 from Ojeda Ríos’ pistol­ on September 23, 2005 in Hormigueros.

“The operation was wrong,” maintained the ex functionary.

Hearings will continue today with the appearance of Police superintendent, Pedro Toledo. Attorney General Roberto J. Sánchez Ramos asked to be excused from yesterday’s hearing, but will meet with the CRC commissioners on June 4.

Next witnesses

-Pedro Toledo, superintendent of Police

-Jorge Rodríguez, director of the Electrical Energy Authority

-Gil Rodríguez, director of the State Agency for Emergency Management

-Héctor Pesquera, physician who participated in the autopsy

-Pedro García, mayor of Hormigueros

-Nelson Cuevas, commissioner of Hormigueros City Police

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