Leader of Puerto Rican People’s Army shot, killed by FBI

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, a leading figure in the Puerto Rican Independence movement in Puerto Rico, died September 23rd. An autopsy showed that this was due to blood loss from a single gunshot wound, obtained during a confrontation with FBI agents in the municipality of Hormigueros, Puerto Rico.

The 72-year-old has been wanted on charges relating to a $7M bank heist in Connecticut in 1983, and his home had been surrounded by over 300 agents, including 20 snipers. The FBI asserts that he fired shots upon them first, but many groups are framing the death as the unwarranted assassination of a key player in Puerto Rico's anti-U.S. colonialism movement.

The FBI did not enter the home until Saturday, almost 24 hours after the shot had been fired. This has lead to many accusations that they were preventing him from getting medical attention. Dr. Héctor Pesquera, spokesperson for the National Hostosian Congress, took part in the autopsy and stated that the FBI tactic was to not intervene in order that "Comandante Ojeda Ríos would bleed to death through lack of medical attention."

FBI director Robert S. Mueller announced Monday that he had ordered an investigation of the incident.