Filiberto Ojeda Rios was killed in a shootout with the FBI on Friday at a farmhouse in the western Puerto Rican town of Hormigueros. An agent was shot
and wounded in the incident. Rios has been on the run for 15 years after he freed himself from a monitoring device and went into hiding while awaiting
trial for an armored car robbery in 1983. The U.S. government considered it an act of domestic terrorism because much of the stolen $7 million was
used to fund the Puerto Rican Nationalist group, Macheteros.
A Puerto Rican nationalist wanted in a 1983 robbery of an armored truck in Connecticut was shot and killed by FBI agents in a shootout, ending the
fugitive's 15 years on the run, the bureau said Saturday.
Filiberto Ojeda Rios, 72, fired on the agents Friday from a farmhouse in the western Puerto Rican town of Hormigueros, wounding an agent, said Luis
Fraticelli, the special agent in charge of the FBI for the U.S. island territory.
The armored car robbery of 22 years ago is considered an act of domestic terrorism because the money was used to fund activities by the Puerto Rican
nationalist Macheteros, or Cane Cutters. Only about $80,000 of the $7 million has been recovered.
Ojeda Rios had been on the run since 1990 when he cut off an electronic monitoring bracelet and went into hiding while awaiting trial for the robbery
of $7.2 million of the Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Conn.
The United States seized Puerto Rico in the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but cannot vote for U.S. president, have no voting
representation in the U.S. Congress and pay no federal taxes.
Most Puerto Ricans are split between those who support making the island a U.S. state and those who favor keeping its status as a U.S. commonwealth. A
small but vocal minority supports independence.
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The Macheteros seem to be an agressive political group fighting for independance from the United States. While this shootout arose from the attempts
to arrest this man for a robbery, I honestly feel the goal was to squash a member of a force who the government feels as a threat to stability in the
The group claims the United States occupies Puerto Rican lands illegally and has focused their attacks primarily on American military installations
and personell in the region as well as police officers.
It seems most Puerto Ricans do not mind being under American occupation, whether they know it or not. There are many benefits of which one is not
having to pay any federal taxes. However being unable to vote for the ruling powers national leader and having no representation in congress seems a
bit unfair. Not paying any federal taxes may sound nice, but it also means they will recieve a very minimum income for social and community
While most people would think of terrorists as those who attack innocent civilians to strike fear and send a message, the labeling of terrorists on
these individuals and group are more based on attacks against an occupying power and militarily. They sound more like resistance fighters than
Perhaps true American patriots who decide to take action in their own hands when this government becomes totally and openly corrupt will recieve the
same label soon enough.
Of course on the subject of the man and his charge of robbing an armored truck, it seems justice may have been served for that crime.
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[edit on 2-10-2005 by DJDOHBOY]