Oscar Lopez Rivera, a convicted terrorist who was granted clemency by former President Obama, will have a street named after him in Chicago.
Chicago’s city council recently voted to honor a 74-year-old former member of Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), a Marxist Puerto Rican nationalist group with a history of violence. Mr. Rivera spent 35 years in prison after convictions related to 29 bombings and weapons charges, but that past did not sway enough city officials against the move. Nine alderman from 50 wards voted against the change.
New York City businessman Joe Connor decried the Feb. 22 decision. His father, Frank, died in lower Manhattan after a Jan. 24, 1975, FALN bombing.
“My father was murdered by the FALN. Oscar Lopez [Rivera] was a member of the FALN, leader of the FALN. He is a terrorist and Chicago is honoring him,” Mr. Connor told a local ABC affiliate. “It’s twisted, it’s upside down.”
Ald. Roberto Maldonado told the station that renaming Luis Munoz Marin Drive was “a little thing.”
“The conviction [FALN member Oscar Lopez Rivera] got was seditious conspiracy. Guilt by association,” Mr. Maldonado said.
Politico noted shortly after Mr. Lopez’s Jan. 17 release that FALN’s track record between 1974 and 1983 is “considerably darker” than commentary offered by his supporters.
“The FALN was responsible for over 130 bombings during this period, including the January 1975 explosion in Manhattan’s historic Fraunces Tavern, which killed four and wounded 63,” the website reported Jan. 24. “In October of that year, it set off, all within the span of an hour, 10 bombs in three cities, causing nearly a million dollars in damage. In August 1977, the FALN set off a series of bombs in Manhattan, forcing 100,000 workers to evacuate their offices; one person was killed, and six were injured.”
Some politicians who cheered Mr. Lopez Rivera’s release include Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Oscar is a friend, a mentor, and family to me,” Mr. Gutiérrez, a Democrat, said in a statement after Mr. Lopez’s release, Politico reported.
• Douglas Ernst can be reached at email@example.com.
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