More than 300 armed FBI agents and 20 sniper-sharp shooters last Friday
opened fire on a 72-year-old Puerto Rican independence leader wearing a pacemaker,
leaving him to bleed to death, according to eye-witnesses and autopsy reports.
But as expected, the doodling, inept and unscrupulous American press
inexcusably failed the American people once again, remaining strangely silent
on the story. And while a few accounts did dribble out, these one-sided FBI
versions only contained inaccurate and censored facts about the bloody shoot
But in the silent background the victim’s wife and several close friends
reveal the untold story, telling a completely different version about how
ruthless FBI thugs pulled off what amounts to another Waco or Ruby Ridge style
massacre on Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a well-known leader and founder of
the Macheteros or Peoples’ Independence Army.
Rios’ wife, Elma Barbosa, who emerged from the house after the incident
while her husband remained dying and bloody on the floor, told island officials
the FBI opened fire first then allowing her elderly husband to bleed
to death. Barbosa, who is openly calling for justice against her husband’s
FBI murderers, was arrested, spent the night in jail but was released of any
charges the following day.
Rios, who had a severe heart condition and appeared to be no immediate
threat to the more than 300 agents assembled, was also strangely murdered during
the Grito de Lares, which is the Sept 23rd annual celebration of the island’s
“This is all too strange and getting way out of hand. The FBI
claims he shot first, but reports from my home country, including those from
Filerberto’s wife and friends who witnessed the incident claim the FBI
definitely opened fire on him,” said Guillermo Beytagh Maldonado,
a native of Puerto Rico and leader of the Puerto Rican independence movement
in New Jersey.
A Cornell University graduate with a master’s degree, Maldonado from
his New Jersey residence said he has been receiving numerous inside reports
from friends and contacts in his home country, all saying the FBI murdered
Rios in cold blood as officials traced at least 120 FBI bullet holes left at
the gruesome farmhouse murder scene.
“Everybody in Puerto Rico and all of us here are pissed off, including
the governor of my home country,” added Maldonado, who recently resigned
as Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Action Social Services Board.
“The FBI agents let him die. Evidently, their tactic was not
to let anybody intervene so that Rios would die. The autopsy of the
Puerto Rican Forensic Science Institute confirmed he died from a bullet wound
following a shot to the collarbone that penetrated his lung and that he eventually
died due to a lack of medical attention.”
Maldonado also said widespread FBI criticism is being leveled across the board
by his fellow countrymen, saying agents cordoned off the farmhouse where Rios
was located for more than 24 hours before swarming in on the old man without
even allowing friends or mediators to enter in order to negotiate a peaceful
“They wanted him out. This is so bad, so incredible and is just like
Waco,” said Maldonado, who claims he is not anti-American just anti-colonialism.
“It’s just not working anymore and I’ve always felt we should
be a free country ever since being invaded by the U.S. in 1898. I know I am
still in the minority, but look what these ruthless agents did to Rios.
“I think Bush may have been behind it. Everyone knows how he and his
FBI agents cannot be trusted to work in the best interests of the people.”
Rios, a musician who supposedly taught the famed trumpet player Arturo Sandoval
of Cuba how to play, was killed in a farmhouse in the northern part of Hormigueros,
Puerto Rico, after being a fugitive for more than 15 years on what has been
called trumped up and bogus theft charges.
The charges of theft supposedly were brought on as a government set-up and
retribution for being found not guilty of what turned out to be a self defense
killing of a Navy enlisted man in the 1980’s.
After being forced to wear an ankle bracelet due to the theft charge, Rios
in a display of opposition ripped off the electronic shackle on the steps of
a well-known Puerto Rico newspaper, then fled to parts unknown for almost 15
years until his untimely death Friday.
“I have been closely following the story since it happened Friday and
let me tell you the whole thing makes me sick,” said Maldonado. “I
talk to a lot of people here and in my country where I was born and raised and
everybody is furious over what happened.
“I have looked very hard and the American press is not telling the story.
Nothing is going out here but a few words about the incident, all of which are
slanted towards favoring what the FBI did.”
Maldonado said Rios was laid to rest in Puerto Rico Tuesday and followers of
his independent cause in New Jersey held a vigil service at the Suydam Street
Reform Church in his honor on the same day.
He added that plans are also in the works for a local rally to bring attention
to the FBI massacre and killing of Rios as well as drawing attention to the
growing problem in Puerto Rico over the issue of independence, statehood or
continued U.S. colonization.