With six days left until its December 11 deadline, a We the People petition asking that President Barack Obama pardon and release Puerto Rican Oscar López Rivera from a federal prison has achieved the 100,000 signatures it needed to generate a formal response from the White House.
As of tonight, the “For President Obama to free Oscar Lopez Rivera before he ends his term as President” petition was at 102,333 signatures. However, breaking the 100,000 does not guarantee a response from the President, since according to We the People, the White House provides an official update within 60 days. It is unclear what will happen now, since President Obama would be leaving the White House on January 20, 2017.
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.
Upon hearing about the news, José Rodríguez Irizarry, who started the petition, shared written remarks with Puerto Rico’s Telemundo, saying that the fight must continue and the fact that the petition took only 25 days to reach 100,000 signatures should send a message to the federal government that López Rivera’s case should be addressed and taken seriously.