In 1977, Jose Alberto Alvarez, a long-time leader in the movement for independence for Puerto Rico, currently First Secretary of the United States Branch of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP), and member of PSP’s Central Committee, requested his files from the F.B.I. under the Freedom of Information Act. The F.B.I. told him there were none.
Unconvinced by this response, especially in light of recent disclosures regarding COINTELPRO activities directed against “independentistas”, Mr. Alvarez requested a “clarification” from the F.B.I. This time, however, the Bureau admitted having files on him but denied his request for the information claiming that “the disclosure of these records would interfere with law enforcement proceedings, including pending investigations.”
Less than two months after the administrative appeal was denied, Mr. Alvarez and his wife, Diana Sanchez (also a member of PSP’s Central Committee), were “visited” by F.B.I. agents who attempted to interrogate them.
Interpreting these acts as another harassment tactic, a continuation of “COINTELPRO”, CCR attorneys have filed a federal action seeking disclosure of all of Mr. Alvarez’ files illegally withheld by the F.B.I.
Jose Antonio Lugo, Peter Weiss, and Michael Ratner