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Filiberto Ojeda Rios, Puerto Rican Leader, Killed by U.S. Forces

February 11, 2006

Filiberto Ojeda Rios, an important leader of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement (the U.S. government said he was the Comandante of Ejercito Popular Boricua–better known as Los Macheteros), was shot and killed in a firefight with FBI and other U.S. government forces on September 22-23.

Filiberto had been a political fugitive since 1990. Incomplete news reports say he was discovered in a rural area in the western Puerto Rican town of Hormigueros. When Filiberto detected the advancing U.S. government assault squads, he defended himself and his country as he has always done. Media reports one or two FBI agents were wounded. A sniper shot Filiberto, but then the U.S. agents refused to let anyone enter the farmhouse for 24 hours. The next day, September 23, which is an important Nationalist holiday in Puerto Rico (Grito de Lares), medical people were finally allowed in. Filiberto was found dead–he had bled to death.

Filiberto Ojeda Rios devoted his entire life to working for the freedom of his country and justice for his people. He was 72 years old.

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