Oscar Lopez Rivera
Oscar Lopez Rivera (6 January 1943-) was a Puerto Rican independence activist and FALN leader. In 1981, the United States government sentenced Lopez to 55 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, but he was released on 17 May 2017.


Free Oscar Lopez

A "Free Oscar Lopez" poster in Spanish Harlem, 24 May 2017

Oscar Lopez Rivera was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico on 6 January 1943, and his family moved to the United States when he was nine years old. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1957, living with a sister. Lopez was drafted into the US Army in 1961, and he was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery during the Vietnam War. After returning to Chicago in 1967, Lopez became a community activist, advocating for Latino student rights and bilingual education before becoming involved with the independence movement in Puerto Rico during the turbulent age of the 1970s. The FALN carried out over 100 bombings in New York City, Chicago, and other cities, and attacks included the 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing. He was arrested on 29 May 1980 and tried for seditious conspiracy, and he was sentenced to 55 years in prison in 1981 and sentenced to 15 more years in 1988 for allegedly attempting to escape from Leavenworth Federal Prison. Lopez rejected a 1999 offer of amnesty by President Bill Clinton after he refused to renounce armed violence, remaining in prison. However, Barack Obama commuted Lopez's sentence, and he was released on 17 May 2017 after 35 years in prison.