Puerto Rican Independence

Return to the Puerto Rican Independence Queering Left Episode.

Ricardo Jimenez Jimenez was one of a dozen Puerto Ricans convicted of seditious conspiracy for membership in the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN, or Armed Forces of National Liberation). The group was linked to more than 100 bombings or attempted bombings in the United States as part of their fight for Puerto Rican independence from the United States. Sentenced to 90 years, he served 20 years  until he was granted clemency by President Clinton in 1999 along with 10 other political prisoners.

Ricardo now works for Vida/Sida which provides culturally and linguistically appropriate HIV prevention services to Latinos and other minority groups with a focus on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals at risk for or living with HIV in Chicago's Humboldt Park community. The following video is an interview that Ricardo did with Bob Lederer.

After spending 35 years in prison, Oscar López Rivera was released when President Obama commuted his Rivera's sentence in 2017. Rivera was one of the members of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional who was arrested in 1980. In the following interview from Democracy Now, Rivera discusses the continued fight for Puerto Rican independence from the United States.

Jessie Fuentes is an activist and educator in Chicago's Puerto Rican community. The following video is a short profile on her and her relationship to the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School.

Now the Dean of Student Affairs at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, Jessie was previously the Director at Café Teatro Batey Urbano, an alternative space for youth to creatively express themselves through theatre, poetry, hip hop, and dance. 

Return to the Puerto Rican Independence Queering Left Episode.