apostles of terror
Name of group: Puerto Rican New Independence Movement (NMIP); previously, Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP) and Pro-Independence Movement (MPI).
Headquarters: San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Founded: Oct. 29, 1993, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Location of operations, areas active: NMIP organizes in the main districts and cities, including San Juan, Ponce, Mayaguez, Bayamón, Caguas, Arecibo, Humacao, Carolina, and Aguadilla, as well as in towns in the interior, including Patillas and Barranquitas. On the mainland, it has a committee in Washington, D.C. and maintains a presence in New York and Chicago. U.S. Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) from Chicago, and Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) from Brooklyn, were members of the PSP. Its weekly, Claridad, has two U.S. correspondents. Its primary focus is environmentalist, anti-military, pro-drug legalization, feminist, and for the freedom of "prisoners of war."
Major terrorist actions: The NMIP, like its predecessors, does not carry out direct terrorist activities. Rather, it creates a political environment to justify actions of fronts, carried out by "synthetic" terrorist groups such as the "Los Macheteros" and the National Liberation Armed Forces (FALN).
Modus operandi: Its primary activity is propagandistic, through Claridad. It defends terrorist groups such as "Los Macheteros," the FALN, and Greenpeace, whose collaboration with the Earth First! terrorists was confirmed by a Hamburg, Germany court; it promotes international campaigns to free the 15 Puerto Rican terrorists jailed in the United States; and it organizes against the installation of an anti-drug radar facility on the island. Its "Youth in Movement" camp in the island's interior, is a recruitment center for youths between 14 and 25, and is run by Doris Pizarro Claudio and Julio Santiago.
Leaders' names and aliases:
Julio A. Muriente Pérez, president and interim spokesman. Earlier he was vice president in charge of international affairs. He lived for some years in Cuba and Hungary as an official representative of the MPI-PSP, and is currently the official contact with the São Paulo Forum and with the Cuban Communist Party. He is the most open promoter of terrorism within the NMIP and Claridad, around a campaign to prevent the installation of the anti-drug radar.
Revda Eunice Santana Melecio, former president and spokeswoman for the NMIP. She shares a collective presidency of the World Council of Churches, and is in charge of Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, she is a member of the women's section of the NMIP.
Jenaro Rentas, former vice president in charge of organizational affairs (former member of the political commission of the MPI-PSP).
Carlos Gallisa, founder and first president and spokesman for the NMIP, former secretary general of the PSP, former member of the House of Representatives and vice president of the PIP.
Carmen Borges, in charge of the women's section.
Marilyn Pérez Cotto, interim director of Claridad.
Rev. Juan A. Franco, member of the international commission.
Olga Sanabría, member of the international commission.
Regional leaders: Doris Pizarro Claudio (San Juan); Remi Rodríguez (Ponce); Miguel Sánchez (Mayaguez); Pedro Adorno (Bayamón); Carlos Vega (Arecibo); Juan Luis Gómez (Carolina); Ismael Barreto y David Quinonez (Aguadilla); José Carrasquillo (Humacao); Nelson Santiago (Patillas); Humberto Padillas (Barranquitas); Father Roberto Morales, of San José Episcopal Church of Arlington, Virginia (United States).
Groups allied nationally or internationally:
Nationally: The Puerto Rican Peoples Army, a.k.a. "Los Macheteros," founded by former MPI member Filiberto Ojeda Ríos in 1970, upon returning from a nine-year stay in Cuba where he worked with the terrorist Latin American Solidarity Organization (OLAS) and received military training. Its main activities are bombings of military and government installations, robberies and assassinations of law enforcement officers (e.g., two Puerto Rican policemen in 1978; two U.S. marines in 1979; an undercover agent in 1986; and the Wells Fargo robbery in Hartford, Connecticut at the end of the 1980s). They operate both in Puerto Rico and in the U.S. mainland. Luis Colón Osorio, one of the founders and commanders of the Macheteros, under house arrest, received specialized training in explosives and weapons in East Germany, and then was discharged from the U.S. Army after having a nervous breakdown and for heroin addiction. Another of the imprisoned Macheteros is Oscar López Rivera, former Vietnam War veteran where he received the bronze medal for heroism.
The FALN, a group created by the FBI's Counterintelligence Program (Cointelpro) with Vietnam veterans and students from Chicago's Northeastern University. Since 1974, it has carried out more than 120 bombings in the U.S., particularly against military and police facilities, banks, government offices in Washington, and businesses (for example, New York's historic Fraunces Tavern, in 1975). Eleven members of the FALN are serving lengthy prison terms in U.S. jails.
The Broad People's Movement (MAP), the green party of Puerto Rico, which favors drug legalization and whose founder Jorge A. Farinacci, is a lawyer for the Macheteros (he was arrested and accused of being a member); the Hostosian National Congress, whose slogan is "Defending the Environment Is Making the Fatherland"; the Puerto Rican Historians Association; the Teachers Federation; the Puerto Rican Workers Federation (CPT); the Coordinator of State Workers (CUTE); the National Union of Health Workers (UNTS); the Brotherhood of Non-Teaching Employees of the University of Puerto Rico; the Group for Productive Rights and the Organization of Women Law Students, of the Inter-American University; the Grand Orient National Lodge (Masonry) of Puerto Rico; Vietnam Veterans and Families against the anti-drug radar; the Committee to Rescue and Develop the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques, and the United Front for the Defense of Lajas Valley.
Member of the São Paulo Forum since 1995; World Wildlife Fund gave $65,000 in 1992 for an ecology project under Dr. Naftali García Martínez, president of the non-government organization Scientific and Technological Services (Secete), in which interim director of Claridad Marilyn Pérez Cotto also worked; Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN), an NGO in Barcelona, Spain, where Nelson Alvarez Febles, a former member of the PSP central committee, also works; Greenpeace; the Ecology Action Pact of Latin America (PAEAL), which is made up of 13 environmentalist organizations from 10 countries, among others the Environmental Studies Group of Mexico, the Social Ecology Network of Uruguay, the Institute of Ecology Policy of Chile, the Ecology Workshop of Argentina, and the Ecology Association of Costa Rica; the Freedom for Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War National Committee (Cnplppgp) of Chicago, which promotes Puerto Rican terrorists as "combatants in the clandestine movement for the liberation of Puerto Rico"; the Working Group for Hawaiian Sovereignty; the Ecumenical Peace Institute; the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) and the National Lawyers Guild of the United States.
Religious/ideological/ethnic motivating ideology: Marxism-Leninism on the model of Fidel Castro; anti-Catholic Masonry; more recently, it has adopted an environmentalist hue, along with the New Age/Heideggerian theology of liberation.
Known controllers/mentors/theoreticians: Main ideologues are Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Pedro Albizu Campos, and historic figures linked to the Jacobinism of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment, such as Puerto Rican Ramón Emeterio Betances (leader of the nationalist revolt against the Spanish in 1868) and the Cuban José Martí.
Current number of cadre: Possibly 1,000 members, with approximately 30-35 full-time members (5 with the political commission, 7 with Claridad, 11 in charge of key cities and districts; and 5 in charge of different sectors of the NMIP).
Training: Cuba; U.S. Army (see above).
Known drug connections/involvement: Direct links are unknown; they organize for drug legalization, and against the anti-drug radar; they defend Rep. José Enrique Arraras, leader of the minority in the Congress who was expelled and then temporarily reinstated, who is a known drug-money launderer through his control of the real estate market and horse-breeding and horse-racing on the island.
Known arms suppliers: Weapons for the Macheteros and the FALN come from the FBI or are gotten through robberies of military installations, or are bought on the black market and paid for through bank robberies.
Known political supporters/advocates: U.S. Rep. Luis A. Gutiérrez, former PSP member from Chicago, met with President Clinton to formally request a pardon for the Puerto Rican terrorists; U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez, former PSP member from New York, has just visited the Puerto Rican terrorists in California jails; Australian Senators Nick Sherry and John Coales, and Australian Attorney General John Deven, who publicly back the campaign to free the Puerto Rican terrorists.
Financing: Sales of Claridad; cultural festivals; travel agencies, which promote cultural trips to Cuba; monthly fees paid by affiliates.
Thumbnail historical profile: In 1959, the MPI was founded by four main groups: dissidents of the social democratic Puerto Rican Independence Party, liberation theologists, Marxist-Leninist defenders of the Cuban Revolution, and dissidents of the Nationalist Party. Until 1972, the MPI was a militant socialist group with inclinations toward Marxism-Leninism; along with the PN, it promoted electoral abstentionism and began to openly back "revolutionary violence" by terrorist groups like the Armed Liberation Commandos (CAL) and the MIRA, both created by the FBI and trained in Cuba. Openly defended the Communist guerrillas and the activities of the terrorist Latin American Solidarity Organization (OLAS) in Claridad. Its main university leaders, such as the NMIP president Julio Muriente Pérez, publicly organize violent protests at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras.
In 1972-73, it became the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP), an openly Marxist-Leninist and pro-terrorist group. After an electoral beating in 1976, in which it received only 10,000 votes, the PSP began to die slowly. After a political hibernation in the 1980s, a group of former PSPers, theology of liberation advocates, feminists, and environmentalists formed the NMIP on Oct. 29, 1993.