In the final days of his administration, Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a victory for the Puerto Rican independence activist.
It has been part of the ministry of our partners in Puerto Rico (Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) en Puerto Rico, Iglesia Evangélica Unida de Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Council of Churches) to advocate for the liberation of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican political prisoner imprisoned for more that 34 years.
The following are statements released by our partners.
“We are really gladly surprised with the outcome of all the work from different organizations and networks in Puerto Rico and internationally. Particularly, the Puerto Rico Council of Churches has been active on the request for liberation of political prisoners for humanitarian reasons since the 80s, when we accompanied the process of the Nationalist prisoners. More recently, we have been engaged into marches, forums, activities and had approved at least three General Assembly´s Resolutions appealing on Oscar López liberation. The PRCC even paid a visit to the prison he is at in Terre Haute, Indiana. Now is a time of prayer of thanks to God and a moment of celebration, because one of Puerto Rico´s sons will be back with his family and people.”
-Bishop Felipe Lozada, President, Puerto Rico Council of Churches
"The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico celebrates the commutation of Oscar López's sentence granted the day after the Ecumenical and Interreligious Coalition of Puerto Rico celebrated an act of prayer in his favor on Monday, January 16, 2017. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico asked our congregations to write letters and prayers for Oscar López on Sunday, January 14, 2017. These prayers joined the multitude of prayers in his favor around the world and the many efforts In favor of his release. We pray now that Oscar may receive our love and all that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer to his life and to the life of his beloved family. We continue to pray for the prisoners, for the most needy and for every human being who needs the Church to love like Christ."
-The Reverend Miguel A. Morales-Castro, General Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico/Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) en Puerto Rico
"Glory is to God! Our Church and Nation fill be very joyful and grateful because of the penalty commutation of our brother, Oscar López-Rivera. We believe this action is just and humanitarian. Sims that President Barrack Obama finally understood that the time for Mr. López-Rivera to be in jailed was enough. that he had to make justice to this man.
Our Church thanks the United Church of Christ and the all Christian confessions in Puerto Rico, as well as to other faith, for the support and accompaniments given to Oscar. Thanks to all who prayed and support Oscar on his journey to freedom. Although, in all fairness, I want to highlight the special involvement with this case of Dr. Tom Dipko, Dr. Paul Sherry, Rev. Nozomi Ikuta, Rev. Bernice Powell-Jackson and Rev. Sala Nolan. Also, our thanks to all Instrumentalities across the UCC and to the Ethnic and Racial groups as well.
No question, our homeland, Puerto Rico, has demonstrated once more that united as the People, our purpose in the struggle for dignity won. Doing justice is our strength. Solidarity, once more, won.
A flower and a prayer for Oscar!"
-Rev. Edward Rivera-Santiago, General Minister, United Evangelical Church of Puerto Rico/Iglesia Evangélica Unida de Puerto Rico