Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres MIGHT BE HOME SOON!

Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres MIGHT BE HOME SOON!

May 26, 2009

Puerto Rican political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres appeared this morning with his attorney Jan Susler at FCI Pekin, Illinois at a videoconference hearing with U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiner Larry Glenn.

The hearing took place after Carlos Alberto had served over 29 years in prison, and 15 years after his initial parole hearing in 1994, when the Parole Commission told him to come back after serving another 15 years.

The hearing examiner opened by saying he would make one of three possible recommendations at the conclusion of the hearing: 1) set a presumptive parole date; 2) tell Carlos Alberto once again to come back after serving another 15 years, at which time he would be considered for possible release on parole; or 3) deny parole entirely.

For some 45 minutes, the examiner posed questions, including some very pointed political questions about Carlos Alberto’s views on the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, and whether his thoughts on this issue have changed throughout his years in custody. He reviewed his accomplishments in prison and asked about his plans if he were to be released: to open a pottery studio in Puerto Rico.

Significantly, Glenn noted “the large number of documents showing community support sent to the parole commission.” He was referring to the thousands of letters and resolutions from all of Puerto Rico’s civil society, as well as from supporters throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

After a brief break, Glenn announced his recommendation: a presumptive parole date of April 3, 2010.... which would mark the 30th anniversary of Carlos Alberto’s imprisonment.

The parole commission has 21 days to issue a decision, or by June 16. Should the commission adopt the examiner’s recommendation, Carlos Alberto would be eligible for transfer to a halfway house 180 days before April 3, or on October 3, 2009.

Letters urging the commission to adopt the hearing examiner’s recommendation should arrive no later than June 17 at the office of Jan Susler, Attorney, People’s Law Office, 1180 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622, jsusler@aol.com.

Sample Letter

To the United States Parole Commission:

We are writing to urge that you adopt the May 26, 2009, recommendation of the hearing examiner to set a presumptive parole date of April 3, 2010 for Carlos Alberto Torres.

We support his release and are anxious to welcome him home.

Yours truly,

The ProLibertad Freedom campaign

1 comment:

José M. López Sierra said...

Should criminals be in charge of correcting the wrong they inflicted?

Puerto Ricans vote in elections every 4 years at an 80% level of participation. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States (US) government for the past 116 years. If the US government has the final say in what happens in Puerto Rico, what is the purpose of these elections? The purpose is to fool the world that Puerto Rico is a democracy.

The United Nations (UN) declared colonialism a crime against humanity in 1960. The UN has asked the US government 33 times to decolonize Puerto Rico immediately. The US government has refused. It says that Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States is none of the UN’s business. The US says that it is a domestic affair.

To appear that the US government wants to decolonize Puerto Rico, it promotes the use of plebiscites to determine what Puerto Ricans want. Doesn’t that sounds innocent and democratic? So what’s the problem?

To begin with, the international community already rendered its verdict and determined that colonialism is illegal. So to have a political status option in a plebiscite that favors maintaining Puerto Rico a colony of the United States is not permitted. To have a political status option of Puerto Rico becoming a state of the United States is also not permitted under international law. The problem goes back to the beginning of this article. In order to have free elections, the country must be free. So before these elections and plebiscite could be valid, Puerto Rico would have to first be an independent nation.

What people must realize is that Puerto Rico is a colony of the US because the US government wants it that way. That is why it has used terrorism to keep it that way. That is why it refuses to release the Puerto Rican political prisoner of 33 years Oscar López Rivera. That is also why it is ridiculous to believe that decolonization is a US internal matter in which the UN has no jurisdiction over. If we allow the US government to decolonize Puerto Rico, she will remain a colony of the United States forever!

José M López Sierra