Convicted Puerto Rican terrorist leader Oscar López Rivera was arrested in Panama, various Latin American media outlets reported early Tuesday evening.
López Rivera, whose sentence for his involvement in the 1970’s bombings of U.S. sites, was commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017, was reportedly on his way to Bolivia to attend a meeting in Santa Cruz titled “America in dispute.”
According to Prensa Latina, López Rivera was scheduled to be deported back to Puerto Rico. However, Puerto Rico’s Claridad reported that after 12 hours in detention by immigration authorities in Panama, López Rivera was later allowed to continue his trip to Bolivia.
Organizers of the international seminar, Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity and other organizations, denounced López Rivera’s arrest.
According to Claridad, he was initially stopped in Panama from continuing his trip to Bolivia because of a Panamanian law that prohibits travel through that country by ex-convicts from the U.S. He was let through only after an intervention was made by officials from Panama and Bolivia, Claridad reported.
He had previously been arrested earlier this year at Fort Lauderdale airport after traveling through Cuba and Nicaragua.
The Puerto Rican nationalist, who was one of the leaders of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), had served 35 years of a 55-year sentence after being convicted of “seditious conspiracy” attempted robbery, explosives and auto-theft charges.
One particular bombing the FALN was responsible for was in 1975 in downtown Manhattan at Fraunces Tavern where four people were killed. Joe Connor, whose father Frank Connor was slain in the deadly blast, told The Daily Caller, “It’s about time Lopez was detained. How can a convicted terrorist pass security screenings and fly on his Marxist tour of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil unimpeded as he has since Obama gave him his second clemency?”
He added, “Who is financing him? Don’t forget Lopez refused the Clintons’ 1999 clemency driven by Eric Holder to connect Hillary with New York’s Hispanic community for her 2000 Senate run. And please don’t tell me Lopez was not involved in the FALN bombings. I faced him at his 2011 parole hearing. He is an unrepentant terrorist.”