FBI Arrests Puerto Rican Independence Activist, Raids Homes

San Juan, May 11 (Prensa Latin) The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has unleashed a “wave of raids” in the Puerto Rican town of Cayey, where they arrested Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, a leader of the underground independence movement Boricua Popular Army (EPB-Macheteros).

Gonzalez Claudio, who had avoided the federal police for more than 25 years, is linked to the 1983 robbery of 7.2 million USD from Wells Fargo armored car deposit in Hartford, Connecticut.

After arresting the activist on Tuesday without resistance while he was jogging in the Guavate neighborhood, the FBI raided homes without search warrants in the Inocencia district of Guavate, according to the organization Socialist Front.

The FBI chief in Puerto Rico, Luis Fraticelli, confirmed that one of the homes searched was the residence of Gonzalez Claudio, but refused to disclose what they had seized.

One resident, Ramon Cruz, told reporters that a dozen federal agents entered his house and took the hard drive of his computer. Cruz said he did not know Gonzalez Claudio.

Another neighbor, Antonio Arriaga, complained that the FBI prevented people from entering their homes as they returned from work in the afternoon.

The arrest of Gonzalez Claudio came on the same day as the EPB-Macheteros issued a press release denouncing a wave of repression against Puerto Rican independence activists.

In a press release published by the Puerto Rican news agency Inter News Service, the group said the FBI had created a battalion of 22 intelligence agents to persecute independence and social activists, and that they had created high-tech units to spy on Venezuela and Cuba from Puerto Rico.

According to Fraticelli, Gonzalez Claudio faces a possible prison term of 25 years.

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