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J. Edgar Hoover Lives On...In Puerto Rico
To many Americans, the term 'government spying' brings to mind now-defunct regimes in distant lands, like communist East Europe and dictatorships in Central and South America. Among more politically aware citizens, it conjures up memories of the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO, J. Edgar Hoover's program to exterminate dissident groups, like the American Indian Movement, the Black Panthers and the civil rights movement.
But the spirit of J. Edgar Hoover lives on in Puerto Rico.
Throughout the 1970's, the independence movement was the object of a right-wing terrorism campaign, which included bombings and assassinations. Given that the independentistas were under intense surveillance, the FBI must have known something about the attackers. After all, it is a law enforcement agency.
Does the FBI know anything about the January 1975 bombing of an independentista activity in the city of Mayagüez that took two lives? What about the unsolved murder in 1976 of Santiago Mari-Pesquera, the son of P.R. Socialist Party head Juan Mari-Bras, or the P.R. Police slaying of two unarmed independentista youths in 1978?
The whole truth must be known if we the Puerto Rican people are to exercise our right to self-determination. If the U.S. government honors its rhetoric about democracy and freedom, it must provide full disclosure of its secret activities in Puerto Rico.