New York: grand jury probes Puerto Rican activists

The US has issued subpoenas to three Puerto Rican activists to appear before a federal grand jury in New York on Jan. 11. The activists have been identified as graphic designer Tania Frontera, social worker Christopher Torres and filmmaker Julio Antonio Pabon. There are indications that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also trying to locate Hector Rivera, one of the founders of the Welfare Poets, a New York-based collective of activists and poets, in order to serve him with a subpoena.

The subpoenas are thought to be part of a probe into the Popular Boricua Army (EPB)-Macheteros, a rebel pro-independence group whose leader, Filiberto Ojeda Rios, was killed by FBI agents in Puerto Rico on Sept. 23, 2005. FBI agent Luis Fraticelli has indicated that the agency is trying to find “Commander Guasabara,” who succeeded Ojeda Rios. Various pro-independence groups met in San Juan on Dec. 27 to discuss their response to the investigation. Independence activists have frequently refused to appear before grand juries or to answer questions, and have been jailed as a result. (El Diario-La Prensa, NY, Dec. 18)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 30

See our last post on Puerto Rico.