A Puerto Rican senator discussed new evidence incriminating the United States government in the recently reopened "Cerro Maravilla" case with 20 people in Cabot House yesterday.
Senator Marcos Rigau, chair of the judiciary committee investigating the 1978 incident, said the FBI covered up evidence that linked the Puerto Rican government to the assassinations of two Puerto Rican youths.
The case involves the shooting deaths of two young men. According to Rigau, an undercover government agent took the men to a mountain named "Cerro Maravilla" where they were murdered by Puerto Rican police, who later claimed the men were terrorists.
Rigau said the two men, who were in favor of Puerto Rican independence from the U.S., were murdered by the Puerto Rican government because of their political beliefs.
The then newly elected Puerto Rican governor, Carlos Romero Barcello, was in favor of the territory becoming a U.S. state, Rigau said. Barcello engineered "a wave of state-created terrorism" to convince skeptics of his government's stability, according to Rigau.
The scene on Cerro Maravilla was arranged, Rigau said, to give the impression that the police acted in self-defense. Yet evidence shows that there were two rounds of shooting, which contradicts the police story.
During past investigations of the case, no police officials were interviewed. In this recent investigation, however, two police officers confessed to the murder of the two young men.
According to Rigau, the victims were arrested, handcuffed, beaten harshly and then killed.
"You see the pictures and you cry," Rigau said.
Evidence also shows that Barcello's government drew up a list of "defendants of democracy," in which those on the list were to be "eliminated or neutralized," Rigau said.
A 'Cleansing Process'
Rigau said his main concern is to start a "cleansing process" in Puerto Rico and in the relations between the country and the U.S.
"This is an event that does not make the United States or Puerto Rico feel proud," Rigau said.
The discussion was sponsored by La Organizacion Estudiantil Boricua de Harvard-Radcliffe.