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Puerto Rican Independence Party Denounces FBI Arrests

By on April 22, 2016

SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) on Friday denounced  the recent detentions by the FBI of independence supporters to require DNA samples from them.

According to Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago, who is also the PIP candidate for governor in the upcoming elections in November, the detentions constitute an attempt at intimidation amid a framework she called a return to the crudest form of colonialism with an imposition of a federal fiscal oversight board, as well as a provocation to derail the possible release of independence activist Oscar López Rivera.

“The colonial regime has fed the fear inspired by federal agencies such as the FBI and its allies in Puerto Rico,” she said. “The persecution, imprisonment, marginalizing and blacklisting of independentistas [independence supporters] have been the vehicles to ensure the persistence of the inferior political system which is the Commonwealth.”

maria de lourdes santiago

María de Lourdes Santiago

She called the FBI action against renowned independentistas a return to the Cold War era at a moment when there is much questioning throughout Puerto Rico about the need to overcome the more than 100-year-old colonial condition.

For his part, Juan Dalmau, who is running for an at-large Senate seat, said these interventions happened amid great dissatisfaction and rejection to the “abuse of the federal Congress by imposing a federal fiscal control board which creates the conditions for more protests and greater militancy.”

“To the extent the practice of intervening with figures with ties to the independence movement, an atmosphere is being created in the U.S. [mainland] that in Puerto Rico the independence movement represents a threat that needs to be persecuted, marginalized, and violating their civil and human rights,” Dalmau said.

The denunciation by both PIP leaders comes after Orlando González Claudio and Norberto Cintrón Fiallo were arrested after federal Judge José A. Fusté issued orders against 16 independentistas to have them provide DNA samples.

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