Puerto Rico’s Governor-elect Formally Asks Obama to Pardon López Rivera, as White House Petition Tops 86K

Ricardo Rosselló, Puerto Rico’s incoming governor, wrote to President Barack Obama on November 30 to formally ask that Oscar López Rivera be granted a pardon, El Nuevo Día reported on Sunday. In the letter (image below), Rosselló wrote that it is a “moral imperative” that López Rivera be released. A member of the FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) and a proponent of Puerto Rican independence, López Rivera was convicted in 1981 for seditious conspiracy, but many Puerto Ricans from all political stripes have been calling for his freedom.

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Rosselló’s letter comes at time when a formal White House petition to free López Rivera has generated more than 86,000 signatures. According to the White House, if a petition gets 100,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House provides an official update within 60 days. It is unclear what would happen if the petition were to get the required signatures by December 11, since President Obama would be leaving the White House on January 20.

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