Earlier this month, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 40 national Latino organizations, wrote to President Barack Obama, asking that he release Oscar López Rivera from federal prison. López Rivera’s case and the push to have him pardoned before Obama leaves office has taken on new momentum since an online petition resulted in a non-response response from the White House.
Here is the December 16 letter NHLA sent to President Obama:
Meanwhile on December 19, the Obama administration touted its record for commuting sentence for more than 1,000 people:
In that December 19 news,Neil Eggleston, White House Counsel to the President, hinted that President Obama might pardon more individuals before he leaves the White House on January 20, but did not mention any specific names:
The President continues to review clemency applications on an individualized basis to determine whether a particular applicant has demonstrated a readiness to make use of his or her second chance, and I expect that the President will issue more grants of both commutations and pardons before he leaves office.
López Rivera was a member of the FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) and a proponent of Puerto Rican independence. He was convicted in 1981 for seditious conspiracy, but many Puerto Ricans from all political stripes have been calling for his freedom.