Among the 208 sentences commuted by President Barack Obama on Tuesday was that of Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera.
López Rivera was convicted on federal charges in 1981 that included seditious conspiracy in connection to a number of bombings across the U.S. He was part of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), a group that sometimes utilized violent means in what it declared a struggle for Puerto Rican independence. His supporters call him a political prisoner.
For more on what this means to Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, we turn to Lopez Rivera’s brother, Jose Elias Lopez.
Lopez is also the executive director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago and a lecturer of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago.