FBI cleared in Ojeda Rios assassination

On Aug. 9 the US Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a 237-page report on the killing of Puerto Rican nationalist leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios in the western town of Hormigueros on Sept. 23, 2005, by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The OIG concluded that Ojeda had fired on the FBI agents first and that they were justified in returning fire and in waiting 18 hours after Ojeda was hit before entering his house to check his condition. But the report says the agents should have considered surrounding the house and forcing Ojeda out with tear gas and should have made a greater effort to negotiate a surrender. (Harford Courant, Aug. 10; FBI press release, Aug. 9)

Luis F. Abreu, lawyer for Ojeda’s widow, Elma Beatriz Rosado Barbosa, questioned the OIG’s conclusions, noting that the report didn’t include photographs or diagrams of the site where Ojeda’s body was found. Abreu said the site had been altered when he and Rosado Barbosa were allowed to enter the house. (El Diario-La Prensa, NY, Aug. 13)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 13

See our last posts on the Ojeda Rio case.