Puerto Rican Youth Leader Arrested by FBI
following press release was issued July 3, 2001, by the Union of Socialist Youth
(UJS, or Union de Juventudes Socialistas), youth organization of the Socialist
Movement of Workers (MST, or Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores), P.O. Box
22699, UPR Station, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931. For more information, call:
Tuesday, July 3, 2001, at approximately 5 p.m., eight agents of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) went to the home of university student Pedro Colón
Almenas to arrest him. Pedro was alone with his mother when the squad of FBI
agents arrived. They arrested him on trumped-up charges surrounding the protest
at the ROTC [Reserve Officer Training Corps] offices against the morning
exercises held by the ROTC at the Rio Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto
Rico. The protest was called by the students on April 30. It is significant that
this arrest takes place two months after the events of April 30, barely a week
until the end of the U.S. Navy maneuvers at Vieques and the day before the
Fourth of July holiday.
Colón Almenas is a member of the UJS, Union of Socialist Youth), the youth
organization affiliated with the Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores (MST,
Socialist Movement of Workers). The UJS has carried out a continuous two-year
campaign of political denunciation of the military presence at the university.
The MST organized a brigade that was able to penetrate the firing range on
Vieques during the recent military practices and was able to halt the bombings
according to the admission of the U.S. Navy itself.
this reality, we denounce this arrest as a clear reprisal on the part of the FBI
in retaliation for the actions of civil disobedience carried out by the MST in
just the last two weeks. In addition, this is part of a public relations ploy by
the FBI as a component of their efforts to promote the campaign of political
hysteria that has been unleashed by the most right-wing conservative sectors of
the New Progressive Party (PNP, the pro-statehood party), which began with their
attack on the chapel in front of the Legislature in San Juan and which
culminates in their Fourth of July activities.
arrest is yet another attack by the repressive apparatus of the U.S. federal
government against the Puerto Rican people in our struggle to get the U.S. Navy
out of Vieques.
call on the people of Puerto Rico and their supporters everywhere to demonstrate
solidarity with the student Pedro Colón Almenas in the face of this blatant
frame-up and act of political persecution by the FBI.
Union de Juventudes Socialistas (UJS-MST)