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Helping Friends
Indiegogo Campaign!
Hello everyone! 2 Days Ago, 2 of my close friends got their apartment broken into. No one ever wants to come home and find out that this has happened. As someone who has experienced this before, I know it's a stressful and heartbreaking thing to go through. My friends are hard working individuals and did not deserve this. Although everything that was stolen is replaceable, one of the things stolen was their rent money. I am reaching out to you if you would be willing to help relieve some of this unnecessary stress from them. If you are unable to donate, it would be awesome to share this with others that might want to lend a hand! Thank you for your support!


Centro Infantil 

Consuelo Lee Corretjer

Open Registration * Day Care Program * Head Start

We offer:

* Full day, Day Care for children 15 mos. to 3 yrs.

* Full day Head Start for children 3 to 5 yrs. 

* Research based curriculum

* Family involvement

* Nutritional Meals

* Parent workshops

Download the leaflet here.


Paseo Boricua Apartment Listing

3216 W Agusta

2BD 1Bath $1000



2200 N. Avers

2BD 1Bath $950



2715 N. Milwaukee

studio 1bath $675



1550 N. Kedzie

1BD 1Bath $730



1456 N Kedzie

2BD 1Bath $800


Los Tequis

Memorize this! Use it!
Tell Students about it!
Las manos en el cristal: Serie de Cartas de OLR a su nieta Karina

33xO Mujeres NYC
Monthly Schedule of Locations


Brooklyn - Williamsburg 


Brooklyn - Coney Island


Bronx - Orchard Beach






¡Escribale a Oscar!
Oscar Lopez Rivera #87651-024
FCi Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN
From Puerto Rican Cultural Center programs

From The New York Times:

A Proud Swirl of Sound and Spectacle

The parade could be seen and heard several blocks away from Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where determined visitors armed with folding chairs and coolers had been lining the route since early Sunday morning. Red, white and blue flags fluttered like capes from the backs of people heading toward Bryant Park. Salsa music pumped from the floats and coursed through the streets. Cheers rose above the roar of Midtown traffic.


They came for the start-of-summer celebration that is the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, as large and festive as ever as it made its way up Fifth Avenue. But if it seemed unchanged in the essentials, this year's parade wore a slightly more serious attitude, coming just four months after a new board took over after revelations of financial mismanagement and rising concern that the parade's corporate sponsorships had turned a cherished cultural celebration into a commercial spectacle.

Continue reading here.


CCA 2014 Outstanding Community Leader - Jose Lopez
CCA 2014 Outstanding Community Leader
- Jose Lopez

Professor Jose Lopez comes from a proud Puerto Rican heritage. He believes strongly in social justice and social action. Lopez currently serves as the Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and his work there includes overseeing a Day Care Center, an AIDS program, the Cultural Center itself as well as working with a High School. Lopez has taught many community leaders such as Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, Senator Miguel del Valle, Representatives Berrios and Soto and Alderman Billy Ocasio.

BOHIO Hosts discussion Panel on Housing Initiative

On May 28, Jose A. Ramirez from Vida/SIDA's BOHIO Housing Services hosted a discussion panel on LUCHA's new Mi Tierra housing initiative. LUCHA is currently in the process of building affordable housing apartments in Humboldt Park to help stop gentrification. Alma Zamudio, LUCHA's community organizer, led the discussion panel while PRCC staff gave input and ideas on how to make these new housing apartments more livable and beneficial to Humboldt Park residents. Many great ideas and information came out of this workshop. Special thanks to Zenaida Lopez (El Rescate), Leslie Rodriguez (Affordable Care Act Program), Gustavo Varela (Generation L), and Maritxa Vidal (Vida/SIDA) for their participation. 


The Battle Against Underage Drinking in Chicago's Puerto Rican Community

The Barrio Arts Culture Communications Academy is excited to participate in this year's Puerto Rican People' Parade. The new BACCA directive consists of Maria Borrero (director), Mia Espinosa (youth representative), Sikarra Nicholas (youth representative) and Michelle Guzmán (youth representative). BACCA engages youth in the Humboldt Park community and develops their creative talents and skills in the areas of theater, newspaper development, radio, photography, and film/TV, while also promoting community-based civic engagement. This program mainly focuses in the use of  technology workshops, tutoring, and hands-on instruction geared towards providing youth the opportunity to express themselves. As an after-school program, BACCA seeks to also address youth challenges like high school dropout rates, and underage drinking in our community. Recognizing that the school dropout rate directly correlates to other indicators of risk, this after-school program is designed to mix culture, community, and technology across a range of media to encourage participants to transform their community. Our main focus is Underage drinking, due to the significance of this problem; community members in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood took action and started different marketing campaigns for parents and youth to encourage them to find alternatives to drinking, and to talk about the consequences, but also to bring consciousness to our local businesses about the importance of not selling alcohol to minors. We are looking forward to expand our efforts and bring our BACCA to many more youth leaders. We will see you in the Parade!



My name is Mia Espinosa and my experience with B.A.C.C.A. has been very positive. I love working with my coworkers and supervisors because they are committed and have great ideas to support the program. Working for an anti-underage drinking campaign has brought me into the realization that people my age are struggling with this issue. Working for the campaign gives me an opportunity to help better my community and reach out to my youth and help them make better decisions. 



My name is Sikarra Nicholas and I've been with B.A.C.C.A for more than a year and working with this program has changed the way i looked at things before I thought that drinking wasn't a big deal and that i couldn't do any harm . I was careless when i came to my thoughts on drinking,working with this program has showed me that drinking is very harmful and it can hurt you mentally and can hurt my body . doing this program has showed me that most teens are and taught about the thing that can happen when you drink and that we are not asked our opinions and that we are kind of push aside but when we are asked to show our thoughts it sheds a little light on things . Im very glad that i was able to work with B.A.C.C.A and if i had the chance i'd do it again.


From Our Community Partners
Pastor Wilfredo De Jesús Celebrates Clemente's 40th
Pastor Wilfredo De Jesus Celebrates Clemente's 40th Anniversary
Pastor Wilfredo De Jesus Celebrates Clemente's 40th Anniversary

In September 2014, Roberto Clemente Community Academy will celebrate 40 years of providing education to the Humboldt Park community. Join us in reflecting on 40 years as we release interviews with local community leaders, Clemente alumni, and Class of 2014 graduates. We are also honored to be showcased at the 2nd Annual Unified Puerto Rican People's Parade, occurring on June 14th at 2pm.

In addition to celebrating the historic past of the Puerto Rican Borinqueneers/65th Puerto Rican Infantry Regiment of the US Army, the parade looks forward to a future of educational possibilities for Humboldt Park youth and Clemente's new focus as an International Baccalaureate Candidate School.


Clemente 40th Anniversary Fundraiser Committee Initiates Buy-a-Brick Campaign

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the first school in the US to be named after legendary Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, Clemente Community Academy is offering the opportunity to become a part of that history. For a limited time, we will commemorate donations to the Roberto Clemente 40th anniversary fundraiser by adding the names of those who have contributed to the Wall of Fame. This will be a permanent display in our lobby which will highlight the names of all who have given generously  to the celebration. Each brick will carry the name of the person making the donation or one of the below options. The donations will fall into 3 categories, Standard $50, All-Star $100, and MVP $250.


3 pricing options-

* Wall of Fame-$50 donation

* All-Star $100 donation

* MVP $250 donation

 All bricks are bronze with black lettering and border

 Naming options available are :

* Name

* Name and Graduation Year

* Mr & Mrs Name


Please see the Roberto Clemente website for further information.
Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera

The ongoing imprisonment of Oscar López is a betrayal of democracy

June 1, 2014 Editorial El Nuevo Dia

At 71 years of age and having served 33 years in remote prisons, far away from his country, accused of seditious conspiracy, but never having been found guilty of shedding any blood, Oscar López Rivera is the symbol of a flagrant dishonor for his jailers and an affront to democracy that fails to respect human rights.


Because Oscar López Rivera, beyond his ideology and his aspirations, is a citizen who dedicated two years of his life to active military service, in the Vietnam War, and who rigorously sacrificed himself for the very United States that is now engaged in keeping him isolated, trying to silence the calls for his release and intending to keep him out of the spotlight of worldwide attention.


In spite of the unanimous demands of the people and from every sector, and important voices in the international community, Oscar López is still held in the prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the United States government persists in ignoring the call for the release of this elderly political activist and community leader, so that he can be with his family, mainly his only daughter and his granddaughter.


One must ask why the government of the United States would be so stubborn, a government that boasts of its actions for the rights of political prisoners in the whole world - in Ukraine, with Yulia Timoshenko; in China, with artist Ai Weiwei; in Venezuela, with the opposition leader Leopoldo López; in Cuba, with ex-prisoner Guillermo Fariñas, and even in Russia with the feminist punk group "Pussy Riot" - but in its own country keeps buried alive a Puerto Rican who, from 1986 to 1998, suffered one of the most cruel prison punishments that exists, that of solitary confinement in the prison of Marion, Illinois. In Marion, a super-maximum security prison built in 1963 to replace Alcatraz, which had just closed, Oscar López managed to survive more than a decade with absolutely no contact with his family or friends.


The very fact that, contrary to the criminal justice policies of almost every country in the world, Oscar is held in a prison so distant from Puerto Rico, hindering regular family visits, is a form of incomprehensible torture by a nation which purports to have a humanitarian calling.


President Obama, who claimed to feel moved when he visited the historic cell of Nelson Mandela in Robben Island, South Africa, should know that in the prison at Terre Haute, in Indiana, there is a man accused of the same "crimes" as Mandela - the same legal charge: seditious conspiracy - for which, different from the South African leader, he has served six years longer in prison: Mandela endured 27 years in prison; Oscar López has just marked 33 years in prison.


Obama has the power to release him today, and he should do so. He's not being asked to pardon, but rather to fulfill a moral mandate of respect for the human condition and, apart from that, an act of dignity, valor, and self-worth for a man of priniciples against whom state vengeance, ideological discrimination, the prostitution of justice, pressure by federal security agencies, and cruelty are imposed without mercy.


The release of Oscar López cannot keep being postponed, and the call for his freedom must continue to be unanimous and not fall into the trap of pessimism or electoral political cabals. Internal affairs of the United States, including its electoral processes, need not matter to anyone when it comes to returning this human being to the land he belongs to, that saw him come to life. He is an older man who has conducted himself in exemplary fashion and who does not deserve to get sick or incapacitated in prison, something that would cause great pain and impotence to his entire people.


The government of the United States is morally impeded from intervening on behalf of any political prisoner, in any place in the world, while the president continues to mock the memory of Mandela, violate civil and political rights and Oscar's right to freedom.

An interview with Jose Lopez, brother of Puerto Rican freedom fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera,  as calls for his release become the focus of The National Puerto Rican Day Parade

THE Jordan Report

On the June 6 edition of The Jordan Journal heard Fridays from 3-5 p.m.  Howard Jordan interviews Jose Lopez, younger brother of the Puerto Rican patriot and political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera who has been imprisoned by the U.S. government for over 33 years. This beloved freedom fighter is one of the longest held political prisoners in the Western hemisphere and was honored by The National Puerto Rican Day Parade for his unique voice  and to rally support for his release amongst the parade-goers that lined the streets of New York City's Fifth Avenue. To join the movement to Free Oscar Lopez contact Prof.Ana M. López at (646) 229-5133.To comment on the program write me at thejordanjordan@hotmail.comor tweet @hjordanWBAI  


Listen to the program.

Oscar López vive con la esperanza de ver a la Isla libre

Publicada originalmente en el Nuevo Dia, 29 de mayo de 2014

Hoy cumple 33 años en prisión. No te pierdas la entrevista exclusiva. Video


Por José A. Delgado /

Oscar López: "Amar la patria no cuesta nada".(Archivo)

WASHINGTON- Anhela estar con su familia y en su Isla, pero después de 33 años en prisión,  Oscar López Rivera  no se sienta a imaginar cómo  será recuperar su libertad.

Por toda una generación, su visión del mundo exterior ha estado limitada a lo que puede ver desde la prisión, cuando está en el patio de la cárcel de turno o, en los últimos años,  la ventana en su celda.

El resto lo dibuja de lo que le cuentan sus familiares, abogados y amigos que le visitan a la prisión de Terre Haute, Indiana, así como de los recortes de periódicos que le envían.


Ha hablado de su intención de irse a vivir a su natal San Sebastián luego de una visita a Chicago (Illinois), de las inmensas ganas de recobrar el tiempo perdido con su hija y nieta, de ver la playa y ayudar a jóvenes en la Isla. Pero, asegura que no dedica tiempo a pensar en ello.


Hace tres  meses, López Rivera afirmó estar muy consciente de como el calendario electoral estadounidense -ahora se aproximan las elecciones legislativas-, puede retrasar las posibilidades de que el presidente Barack Obama acceda a la petición de clemencia que presentó hace 3 años.


"No puedo darme el lujo de pensar en la libertad", dijo López Rivera, en una nueva entrevista telefónica hace unos días en previsión del 33 aniversario de su arresto,  imputado de sedición por su vinculación con el grupo clandestino Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN).

Hoy se cumplen los 33 años de su encarcelamiento. Desde hace más de dos es  el prisionero político puertorriqueño que más tiempo ha estado encarcelado.


A menos que se le otorgue clemencia, López Rivera, de 71 años, puede estar todavía otros 9 años tras las rejas.

En los últimos meses ha habido una mayor apertura de la jefatura de la cárcel de Terre Haute a permitir visitas de abogados que se han asociado con la campaña a favor de su liberación, que rebasa líneas ideológicas.


A López Rivera no le gusta hablar de sus penurias, pero sus allegados dicen que cada vez que pueden los carceleros todavía buscan estremecerle y que, entre otras cosas,  le retrasan tremendamente la mucha correspondencia que recibe.


Cientos de personas -por mar y tierra- se unieron este domingo en un gesto colectivo de apoyo como parte de la manifestación "Al Mar X Oscar" para reclamarle al presidente estadounidense, Barack Obama, la pronta excarcelación de López Rivera, que el jueves cumple 33 años tras las rejas convicto por conspiración sediciosa.

El día de la entrevista, a los prisioneros de su unidad, debido a algún evento en la institución carcelaria, se les mantuvo sin salir al patio.

Para la entrevista -la tercera en 11 meses que le hace El Nuevo Día por teléfono, pues volvieron a rechazar que fuera en persona en Terre Haute-, le llevaron al salón de un consejero de su misma unidad, un sitio que visita en busca de correspondencia, pero desde el cual antes no había participado de llamadas telefónicas.


"Me obligan a estar mirando contra la pared", dijo, antes de enganchar, después de conversar por  50 minutos.

¿Cómo está en estos días?


-Vivito y coleando. Siempre con buen ánimo y esperanzado.

Recibe más visitas que nunca. Después de recibir a líderes del Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño le visitaron Quique Ayoroa Santaliz y César Hernández Colón. Luego Wilma Reverón y Alejandro Torres Rivera, copresidentes del Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano.


-Abre un diálogo y me da la oportunidad de llegar a una apreciación mejor de la realidad puertorriqueña, de lo que está pasando y cómo va la campaña (de excarcelación).


Son gente de diferentes organizaciones. ¿Qué les dice?

-Que lo más importante es mirar las posibilidades y hacia el futuro. Que sí se puede. Hablo de la importancia de trascender lo que he llamado el "quiosquismo". Nos corresponde a todos descolonizar la patria.

Hace unos días, el presidente de Uruguay, José Mujica, dio a conocer  que intervino  a su favor.


-Tiene una sensibilidad única, su vida, la experiencia de haber estado preso y haber sido víctima del gobierno de este país, que impulsó que los militares dieran el golpe de estado en Uruguay. Mujica me recuerda hasta cierto punto a Nelson Mandela, sin ninguna sed de venganza.

El presidente Barack Obama resaltó el historial de Mujica a favor de los derechos humanos. Se le escucha hablar de Mujica, Mandela y se preguntan muchos cómo no decide liberarlo ya a usted.

-A veces uno puede leer a las personas. No tengo una idea clara de cómo es el presidente Obama.


Se cumplen 33 años y han ocurrido múltiples manifestaciones de apoyo. Hoy cierran las caminatas del 33 aniversario, frente al edificio federal en San Juan.

-Me entusiasma especialmente el recorrido por la región central. La parte más esencial de Puerto Rico es fuera del área metropolitana, la cordillera.

¿Qué hará (hoy)?

-Ayuno. Me levanto tempranito a hacer mis ejercicios".

¿Por qué ayuna?

-Introspección. Es importante que mi espíritu esté incólume y mi moral alta, sentirme digno de mi pueblo.

Poco a poco más y más gente se identifica con su caso.

-Cuando las cosas se hacen con amor dan fruto. Me parece muy interesante que la Parada Nacional de Nueva York (el 8 de junio) me vaya a incluir en su actividad. Mi hija va a estar allí.

¿Cómo se percibe el concepto de la libertad, tras las rejas?

-No puedo darme el lujo de pensar en la libertad. El futuro es muy impredecible y no tengo una idea clara de cuándo puedo salir de la prisión. No me gusta el optimismo ilusorio.

¿Cómo cambió ese concepto, al comparar su realidad hoy con los 12 años de encierro 24 horas o de mayores restricciones?


-Es un cambio positivo. Por ejemplo, la posibilidad de dialogar con otros presos, los puertorriqueños, que tienen buen sentido de humor, poderse uno mover, aunque en un espacio reducido. El poder tener acceso a la pintura. Me gusta mucho la naturaleza y aquí en (Terre Haute) hay pájaros, puedo mirar al cielo y ver las estrellas, mirar la diferencia del día y la noche. Cuando estaba encerrado (todo el tiempo), las luces eran muy fuertes y ese cambio del día y la noche no se notaba. Aquí cerca hay un río. (En otro dormitorio) estuve siete años dándole comida a unos pájaros "ravens" (cuervos). Empecé alimentando uno y al final venían como 40. Había uno con una pluma blanca, que cuando me ponía a correr me gritaba. Ponía a otros a ofrecerle comida y no bajaba. Lo hacía yo y venía. Me puse a leer y aprendí que identifican a las personas.


¿Tiene una ventana?

-En el dormitorio actual tengo dos. Vivo con tres presos más, todos puertorriqueños. Uno es del Bronx y dos de Chicago, más o menos del mismo barrio en que vivía. Es un dormitorio para personas de 45 años o más.

¿Por qué ellos están ahí?

-Los tres son casos relacionados con drogas. Cada cual tiene sus propias características e identidad.

¿Conocen su historia?

-Lo saben. Desconocen de política, su historia, pero poco a poco, cuando toman interés, voy compartiendo información con ellos, dándoles lecturas.

¿Tiene momentos de felicidad?

-Nunca he sentido resentimiento, ni amargura, aún en las peores condiciones. Cuando uno tiene una causa justa y noble no hay tiempo para eso. Es difícil, porque es un entorno lleno de hostilidad y deshumanizante, pero desde mi entrada a la prisión decidí también que el tiempo iba a ser mío. Lo importante es mantenerme haciendo algo, escribiendo o leyendo. Mi madre me dijo,  que siempre hay que ser servicial y aún dentro de la prisión lo hago. Cuando ayudo me siento bien.


¿Cómo compara con su vida fuera de prisión?

-Antes de ser encarcelado tuve una vida plena, de grandes experiencias. Disfruté y celebré esa vida. En la prisión, a pesar de ser el ambiente más deshumanizante, tóxico y hostil que cualquier humano puede experimentar, todavía tengo una vida y puedo celebrar mi vida por todas las cosas que me ha dado. No tengo odio o temor en mi corazón y yo quiero salir de la cárcel con mi honor, mi dignidad y mi espíritu intacto, sano y salvo.


¿En estos 33 años, qué momentos le han dolido más?

-La pérdida de seres queridos, cuando perdí a mi madre en 1997. He perdido a muchos seres queridos, compañeros de lucha. Uno tiene que trascender esos momentos, no dejar que lo abrumen y aceptar la realidad.

¿Cómo percibe en estos momentos el proceso a favor de su liberación?

-Se siente el corazón del pueblo boricua, valiente y compasivo. La campaña ha logrado sembrar esperanzas en mucha gente. Podemos llegar a hacer un mejor Puerto Rico.

¿Qué rol le ve a la diáspora?

-Tenemos que aprovecharla. Es un factor  importante. Vive la estadidad todos los días, tiene un conocimiento bueno de esta nación y sabe cómo se bate el cobre en este país".

¿La estadidad es una posibilidad real o un fantasma, como ha dicho Rubén Berríos Martínez?

-Cualquier cosa es posible. No es que en este momento Estados Unidos esté abierto a la posibilidad de la estadidad. Pero, a los puertorriqueños les digo que deben visitar alguna reservación de indios americanos. Recomiendo la de los Navajo o Dakota, donde se puede ver lo que significaría perder la patria, cómo de marginados podemos quedar. En este país la asimilación es muy fuerte. La mayor parte de las reservaciones han perdido mucho de su cultura.

¿Qué le quiere decir (hoy) a Puerto Rico? (Esta respuesta la envió después  por escrito, como parte de una declaración).

-Soy creyente de que la verdad sobrevivirá y prevalecerá tal como nuestra batalla y noble causa han podido hacerlo durante siglos. Soy puertorriqueño y no quiero ser ninguna otra cosa. Pero también me considero un ciudadano de este universo en que vivimos. Creo que es posible un mundo mejor y más justo y es por tal una de las razones que elijo luchar por la independencia de mi patria.

Le he preguntado antes, pero le repito la pregunta ahora que cumple 33 años de cárcel. ¿Ha valido la pena?

-Mientras exista un solo ser en una nación ocupada dispuesto a luchar, sigue la esperanza de que Puerto Rico sea libre. Somos puertorriqueños aquí y allá. Amar la patria no cuesta nada, lo que sí costaría es perderla. 

Carta de Oscar Lopez Rivera a Miembros de la 
Junta Desfile Nacional Puertorriqueño


June 2, 2014


Orlando Plaza

Ululy Martínez

Board Members

National Puerto Rican Parade



i would like to thank you and the other Board Members with profound gratitude for making me part of this year's celebration of the National Puerto Rican Parade. It is a great honor and a very humbling experience for me.


Thirty three years ago today i started facing the great challenge of imprisonment. When i arrived in prison i expected to spend no more than the same amount of years other Puerto Rican political prisoners had spent.  Don Oscar Collazo López had spent the most-29 years in federal prison when i was arrested.  Unfortunately, i have surpassed him by 4 years.  Thus far, i have been able to face the challenge with dignity and honor, and stay strong, both spiritually and mentally. And, in spite of all the dehumanizing and toxic experiences i've had to face, i can aver that there is no hatred or fear in my heart and that i can still fill it with love and compassion every day.


i chose to serve the most just and noble cause any Puerto Rican can serve. Every day i affirm my Puerto Rican identity and do it to confirm that i can't be anything else but a boricua. Thirty three years ago i said in a federal courtroom that Puerto Rico would be an independent and sovereign nation, and i continue believing the same to be true. Ours is a struggle that has lasted centuries and has survived every attack waged by two imperialist powers in their quest to destroy it.  It has survived because the courageous women and men who initiated it did it as an act of love and every generation that has succeeded them have done it for the same reason.  For me it was a seed that was sown with lots of love, therefore it will of be fruitful and perennial.  Puerto Rico is my homeland and i love it and my people. But not only do i believe that ours will be an independent and sovereign nation but that we have the potential of transforming it into an edenic garden for the enjoyment of our people and the rest of the world. We can do it because we are a creative people and because we have the human resources that are capable of doing it. All we need to do is to dare to struggle and to dare to win. i wish you great success with the celebration of this year's Parade and with all the endeavors you have undertaken. Take good care and stay strong.
Querido abuelo Oscar

Por Karina Valentín López

Publicado en Claridad: martes, 27 de mayo de 2014

Escribiéndome a mí, siento que le has hablado a miles de jóvenes puertorriqueños. Siempre me has reiterado que respetas la vida por encima de todas las cosas, y que no has lastimado jamás a ningún ser humano.


La primera vez que te visité fue en el verano del 1991, en la cárcel de Marion, Illinois, donde estabas recluido entonces. Fue a través de un cristal. Yo estaba en brazos de Mami. El cubículo donde se sentaban las visitas era muy estrecho, y había un teléfono a cada lado para que habláramos por él. Me cuenta Mami que levantó el suyo y te pidió que me dijeras algo. Fue la primera vez que escuché tu voz.

Irónicamente, durante esos años de confinamiento en aislamiento total nunca pudimos tomarnos una fotografía juntos. Recuerdo cómo siempre te escoltaban tres o cuatro guardias, y estabas encadenado por los pies. Eras el único preso que iba tan custodiado al área de visitas.


Se hacía difícil entretenerme mientras estábamos en el cubículo de las visitas, así que para distraerme y ayudar a mi madre, que intentaba pasar el mayor tiempo posible contigo, inventamos un juego peculiar: ponía mis pequeñas manos en el cristal, y tú también ponías las tuyas, de modo que coincidieran las cuatro y pudieran «tocarse».

Las manos saltaban, se perseguían, se comportaban como arañas envueltas en los hilos invisibles del cariño. No nos tocábamos, el cristal lo impedía, pero surgió un lenguaje especial entre tú y yo; entre tus manos y las mías.


Durante años utilizamos esa danza de las manos para comunicarnos. El tiempo pasaba y yo crecía. No te estaba permitido el contacto físico con tus familiares, por lo tanto en los años que estuviste recluido en Marion, no pudiste besarme, abrazarme, o sentir el roce y el olor de mi pelo. Tampoco el de mi madre, que se despedía con lágrimas, aunque yo sabía contener las mías.


Un día, por fin, te trasladaron a la prisión de Terre Haute, en Indiana. Allí te comunicaron que podrías recibir visitas y tener contacto físico con tus seres queridos. Rápidamente Mami y yo viajamos desde Puerto Rico para visitarte. Cuando te visitamos en el salón de visitas me pare frente a ti, levanté mis manos y las pegué contra un cristal imaginario, como siempre, esperando que tú hicieras lo mismo. A mi corta edad, después de tantos años de soportar esa barrera, pensé que debía continuar el juego. No fue hasta que Mami me dijo: «Ahora puedes tocar a tu abuelo», que corrí a abrazarte, nos tocamos por primera vez.


Ante toda realidad me he mantenido fuerte. Una vez me dijiste: "Cada quien decide su destino y arriesga el alma según lo dicta su conciencia. El miedo siempre está presente. En cada momento. Día y noche. Pero uno aprende a usar el miedo en beneficio propio."


De ti, querido abuelo, aprendí el valor de escoger nosotros mismos el lugar al que queremos pertenecer. Me enseñaste que no pertenecemos necesariamente a la ciudad o el país donde la vida nos lleva. En tu caso tú NO perteneces a la prisión donde estás encerrado. Tú perteneces a ese trocito escondido de San Sebastián. Y yo pertenezco a mi San Juan del alma.


Recuerdo que una vez me dijiste: "Ahora, viendo hacia atrás en la memoria, creo que te puedo responder que es el camino el que nos escoge a nosotros; la lucha te atrapa si tienes abierto el corazón y la voluntad para combatir las injusticias."


A veces me he preguntado por qué mi abuelo escogió un camino diferente. Por qué nunca me recogió en la escuela, ni está en las fotos de mi cumpleaños, ni en las de Navidad, al pie del arbolito.

Pero entonces pienso que, para ser lo que somos, tenemos que hacer sacrificios de todo tipo. Quizás nunca me has ayudado a soplar las velitas de mi cumpleaños, como hacen tantos abuelos con sus nietos, pero me alegra pensar que has puesto tu granito de arena para construir un mundo más iluminado y justo para mí.


Sí, querido abuelo, el amor es eso, lo que nos impulsa a crecer. De distintas maneras nos eleva y, si es bueno, pase lo que pase, nos mantiene arriba.


Sé que algún día pasarás toda una noche mirando el mar y verás el despuntar del día y su reflexión sobre el agua. También sé que te arrullarán las olas de ese mar que tanto anhelas ver y que es tan libre como tú.


Con todo mi amor, tu nieta,


Oscar es "Graduado con Honores" en la Ceremonia de Graduacion de la UPR

Ayer 11 de junio de 2014 en la Ceremonia de Graduación de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Rio Piedras. En la foto los profesores Julio Muriente y Carlos Guilbe, Antonio Gaztambide.

Detroit Presente! on Anniversary of Oscar's Arrest


On the night of May 28th, in solidarity with the Campaign to free Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López-Rivera, Detroit NBHRN put up posters and banners all around the city. May 29th marked Oscar's 33rd year of incarceration in U.S. Federal prison. 


These banners and posters were posted in an effort to bring awareness of Oscar López and the campaign to release him. Even though the banners that hung on the freeways were taken down late the next day, many people talked about having seen them and even posted pictures of them on Facebook. Most of the other banners and posters have remained around the city throughout the days that followed. Because of these posters and banners, the NBHRN-Detroit Facebook page received over 70 likes on May 29th. Many sending messages inquiring more about Oscar's case and what they can do to help release him.

Oscar's Letters to his Granddaughter Karina now Available in English
The series of letters by Oscar Lopez Rivera to his granddaughter Karina published online by El Nuevo Dia are now available in English. All 15 published thus far are available on the National Boricua Human Rights Network website.
El Nuevo Día
Presidente Mujica: "Puerto Rico es una de las naciones de América Latina"
Revela además que intervino a favor del prisionero político puertorriqueño Oscar López 

WASHINGTON -  El presidente de Uruguay, José "Pepe"Mujica afirmó hoy en Washington D.C. que "Puerto Rico es una de las naciones de América latina" y reveló que ha intervenido a favor de la excarcelación del prisionero político puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, que cumple este mes 33 años en cárceles estadounidenses.

"Tengo una posición histórica: Puerto Rico es una de las naciones que compone América Latina, pero va a ser difícil que yo pueda convencer a Estados Unidos", indicó Mujica, en una conferencia de prensa al responder preguntas de El Nuevo Día.

Horas antes, Mujica se había entrevistado en la Casa Blanca con el presidente Barack Obama.

Aunque hizo claro que no fue un asunto que trató en su encuentro con el presidente Obama, Mujica, un ex guerrillero tupamaro, afirmó que  "algún día Estados Unidos comprenderá (cuál es) el camino menos traumático para esa relación".

Con respecto a López Rivera, sobre el cual había recibido una petición de intervención, Mujica sostuvo que "hicimos lo que teníamos que hacer". Siga leyendo...

33 Day Walk for Oscar López Successful

By Alberto Rodriguez

May 2014 was an exciting and historic month in the three decade long campaign to free Puerto Rican Political Prisoner, Oscar López Rivera. Oscar is the longest held Puerto Rican Political Prisoner convicted in  U.S. federal court for seditious conspiracy for his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico. Commemorating the anniversary of his 33 years in captivity, the campaign for his release organized "la Caminata Nacional 33 en 33 por Oscar." (33 in 33 Walk for Oscar). This walk began April 27 in the small central
town of Gurabo and toured 33  towns in 33 days to raise awareness about the case of López Rivera and to gather support for the  call for his release.

Each day one town was connected with another in a  333 mile walk through winding mountainous roads. While a small, hearty core group of activists and supporters participated in consecutive daily walks, each town added its own flavor, sometimes its own mayor, and often hundreds of walkers -  an eclectic group of young people, seniors, athletes, elementary, high school and college students, unions, musicians, civic and religious groups, elected officials, those in wheel chairs  and the able bodied, pro-independence activists,  supporters of the present political status with the U.S., as well as supporters of statehood.

People in small rural villages and barrios stood and waited at their front gates for the "Caminata". Passing cars blasted their horns and shouted their support. Children came out of their classrooms to shout approval and display signs they made themselves, of love and support for Oscar. Some schools even allowed their students to leave the classroom to join the walk.

When the walk reached each town's plaza, a beautiful cultural event took place with music and poetry. Under a blazing afternoon sun, children sang while others read their writings dedicated to Oscar.

As the walk in the mountains was underway, another event took place in San Juan called "Al Mar X Oscar" (To the sea for Oscar), inspired by a letter from prison to his granddaughter Karina, in which he wrote, "... after the family, what I miss the most is the sea. It's been 35 years since the last time I saw it." On a beautiful Sunday afternoon on May 25, hundreds marched along the waterfront of Old San Juan while row boats, paddle boats, rafts, kayaks, fishing boats, long Asian inspired dragon boats, jet skis, practically anything that could float accompanied them. At the foot of the century old walls of the Spanish fort, El Morro, the water crafts landed with a "cabezudo" papier-mache puppet head representing Oscar wading on shore symbolically representing his arrival to Puerto Rico by sea. Oscar's daughter Clarisa López and granddaughter Karina Valentín emotionally greeted the symbolic Oscar. At a cultural and political rally held in front of El Morro, Clarisa stated, "We are going to achieve what seems the impossible ... returning my father to the motherland ..." The multitude present shouted their approval.

On May 29 the Caminata arrived in front of the Federal Building in San Juan after successfully visiting 33 towns in 33 days. In solidarity with the Caminata, Oscar walked 333 miles in those 33 days, in the prison yard. The women who meet the last Sunday of  every month on the Dos Hermanos Bridge demanding Oscar's release marched from the bridge in Old San Juan to the Federal Building in the financial district of San Juan.Headed by Oscar's daughter Clarisa and the President of the Bar Association, Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, dressed in pink t- shirts, with flags and posters with messages of support. Then the Caminata arrived, headed by a giant key held by some of the former Puerto Rican Political Prisoners released in 1999 by presidential commutation of their excessive sentences. Behind them were delegations from each of the towns that the Caminata had marched through, along with artists, athletes and members of different political parties as well as civic and religious organizations. The Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, and former political prisoner Rafael Cancel Miranda were present. A rally of celebration and joy followed the end of the Caminata. Oscar's attorney Jan Susler, a partner in the People's Law Office, stated that the work in Puerto Rico around Oscar's release was having positive results in the U.S. She mentioned that this year's Puerto Rican Parade in New York was paying tribute to Oscar and calling for  his release. She said, "I ask you to continue with that consistency, that emotion that inspires us to continue working for Oscar's release."

The Puerto Rican people have sent a powerful message to the White House that we want Oscar López Rivera released from U.S. custody now. In the midst of the worst economic crisis the island has experienced in decades, high energy and food costs, mass exodus to the U.S., primarily of the young and the educated, a crumbling education and health system, a rise in crime and the insecurity and anxiety it creates; Oscar López has not been forgotten, and the call for his release is front and center. In a recent editorial ofEl Nuevo Día, the most widely read newspaper in Puerto Rico with a clear pro-American editorial position stated the following:

At 71 years of age and having served 33 years in remote prisons, far away from his country, accused of seditious conspiracy, but never having been found guilty of shedding any blood, Oscar López Rivera is the symbol of a flagrant dishonor for his jailers and an affront to democracy that fails to respect human rights. In spite of the unanimous demands of the people and from every sector, and important voices in the international community, Oscar López is still held in a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. The United States government persists in ignoring the call for his release. The government of the United States is morally impeded from intervening on behalf of any political prisoner, in any place in the world, while the president continues to mock the memory of Mandela, violate civil and political rights and Oscar's right to freedom.

From his jail cell, Oscar López says, "I can't afford to think about freedom. The future is very unpredictable and I have no clear idea of when I will leave prison. I don't like illusory optimism."  As a former Puerto Rican political prisoner myself, I can fully understand the need to guard oneself from such thoughts and dreams. Here in Puerto Rico, there is a mass sense of optimism and faith that President Obama will do the right and just thing and release Oscar. This optimism is not idealistic or unfounded but very much rooted in a proud history of witnessing our political prisoners walking out of the gates of U.S. prisons. Here, there is faith in the power of a united Puerto Rican people demanding in one loud, clear and unwavering voice "Free Oscar López Now!"