Saturday, October 25, 2008

FBI agent who participated in assassination of Filiberto Rios identified by Macheteros

By The Associated Press
October 24, 2008

SAN JUAN -- According to a communiqué from The Macheteros received at the office of the Associated Press in San Juan, John Roeper participated in the polemical operation in which federal authorities have refused to offer information or the identity of the protagonists.

The government of Puerto Rico demanded this information in the courts and, although the complaint reached the United States Supreme court, the identity of the agents has not been revealed.

A report of the Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice recognized that a federal agent killed Ojeda Ríos on September 23, 2005, but it only identified the agent with the pseudonym of “Brian.”

The clandestine group also criticizes the local Department of Justice for having closed the investigation into the death “without determining that this operation culminated in an assassination.”

“We in the EPB–The Macheteros, in turn, have been able to identify several of the mercenaries who participated in the assassination of our commander. Our intelligence division has been able to do so. Today we publish the name of John Roeper. In the next communiqués, we will report to the nation about other agents,” the organization pointed out in the press release.

An internet search done by the AP confirmed that an individual named John Roeper does appear as a special agent of the FBI, based in Dallas, in the Fort worth area. The AP sent him an email seeking an interview.

Harry Rodríguez, spokesperson for the FBI, said they would not comment, but pointed out that “the FBI considers the Macheteros to be a terrorist organization, and thus we continue to devote resources to eradicate terrorism.”

As for the name of the alleged agent revealed by The Macheteros, Rodríguez refused to confirm or deny the information.

The clandestine group made the most of the coming elections to attack the administration of governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, who they characterize as “an accomplice in this assassination.”

“The Attorney General (Roberto Sánchez Ramos) knows of at least two of the agents who planned and directed what no one doubts was an assassination. Those agents are Luis Fraticelli and José Figueroa Sancha,” director and assistant director of the FBI in San Juan, the communiqué says.

Acevedo Vilá has said that the 24 federal charges against him, related to allegedly illegal financing of his past election campaigns, are connected to his complaints in the case of Ojeda Ríos’ death.

The FBI considers The Macheteros to be a terrorist organization. For its part, the independence movement has for decades accused the United States of political persecution.

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