Carlos Alberto Torres after his release.

Carlos Alberto Torres after his release.

Carlos Alberto Torres, who served 30 years in a federal prison will be released this month. He will return to Puerto Rico where he will be received with an artistic celebration in Ponce.

On May 20th the Probation Board determined his release which will be effective at the end of the month.

In 1999, then Pres. Clinton, did not include Torres in a group of 12 Puerto Rican political prisoners who received a presidential pardon. Had he not been pardoned, his original sentence would have kept him in jail until 2024.

No other Puerto Rican political prisoner has served as many years in prison as Torres. The other Puerto Rican political prisoner with a long sentence was Oscar López Rivera, who has spent 29 years behind bars.

carlos-torresTorres will be expected to arrive on 29 July. An activity has been organized at Parque Monumento Don Pedro Albizu Campos in Tenería, Ponce, where he was born September 1,1952. The group “Asi Somos” will headline other artists performing at the activity. It will be transmitted on station WPAB 550AM and on the internet

Torres, 57 years old, chose to go underground in 1976 with his then pregnant wife. Four years later on April 4, 1980, he was apprehended for conspiracy to overthrow the government and being a member the Armed Forces for National Liberation, a clandestine organization that fought for Puerto Rico’s independence in the 70’s and 80’s.

According to the Committee Pro Human Rights of Puerto Rico, while in jail, Torres obtained a university degree, worked in the Department of Education, and became a painter and artisan.

Lopez Rivera who also went underground in 1976 was arrested in 1981, accused of treason and belonging to FALN. He served a 12 of a 70 year sentence in isolation. Nevertheless, he rejected Clinton’s offer of an early release. He continues in prison.

The other Puerto Rican still jailed is Avelino González Claudio. He was the leader of the Federation of University Students Pro Independence (FUPI) and the Pro Independence Movement (MPI) during the years he spent in New York.

In 1985 he was accused in abstencia of having planned a $6 million robbery to Wells Fargo in Hartford, Connecticut as a member of the Macheteros.