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World

Terrorist or Hero? Puerto Rican Nationalist to Be Freed

Oscar López Rivera was a member of the leftist group Armed Forces for National Freedom (FALN)

In this July 25, 1981 file photo, Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera is driven to jail after his trial where he was convicted of seditious conspiracy in Chicago, photo: Chicago Tribune, via AP
2 months ago

NEW YORK – A Puerto Rican nationalist is set to be freed after decades behind bars for his role in a violent struggle for independence from the U.S.

Oscar López Rivera is expected to be released in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and the 74-year-old is also slated to be honored as a hero at New York City’s Puerto Rican Day parade next month.

But not everyone sees him as a hero. López Rivera was a member of the leftist group Armed Forces for National Freedom (FALN) that claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings across New York, Chicago and Washington, as well as in Puerto Rico in the 1970s and early ’80s.

One still-unsolved bombing at a New York tavern in 1975 killed four people and injured more than 60.

Lopez Rivera was never tied to any specific bombing.

COLLEEN LONG

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