Published May 29, 2013
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Hundreds of activists including pop star Ricky Martin are calling for the release of a 70-year-old Puerto Rican nationalist who was a member of a pro-independence militant group.
Protesters entered fake prison cells set up in several cities across the U.S. territory on Wednesday to raise awareness about Oscar Lopez.
Lopez was sentenced to 55 years in prison after a 1981 conviction on federal charges including seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery and interstate transportation of firearms. He was given an additional 15 years in 1988 after being convicted of conspiring to escape from prison.
Lopez declined a clemency offer by President Bill Clinton in 1999, while the U.S. Parole Commission in 2011 denied a request for early release. He is now in a U.S. prison in Indiana.