Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bond denied for Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, Puerto Rican nationalist, charged in one of the largest cash robberies in U.S. history

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
ProLibertad hotline: 718-601-4751

Bond denied for defendant in 1983 Conn. robbery

(April 26th, 2012 @ 2:40pm)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A federal judge denied a bond request Thursday from a Puerto Rican nationalist charged in one of the largest cash robberies in U.S. history, saying the man lived as a fugitive for more than 25 years and cannot be trusted to appear for trial.

Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, who was captured by the FBI in Puerto Rico in May, asked to be released from a Rhode Island detention center so that he could consult associates more easily as he considers his legal options in the case of the 1983 Connecticut robbery.

Several family members and supporters offered to put up $400,000 in real estate to secure his bond, and Gonzalez gave assurances he would not jeopardize their finances by fleeing.

But Magistrate Judge Thomas Smith said in his ruling that the risk of flight was too great to release Gonzalez.

"Mr. Gonzalez-Claudio's ties to his family were not powerful enough to keep him from living as a fugitive for over 25 years and, hence, the court cannot place much credence in his promise," Smith wrote.

Gonzalez, who is in his mid-60s, is accused of aiding the 1983 robbery of $7 million from a Wells Fargo armored car depot in West Hartford, Conn. The heist, the largest cash robbery in U.S. history at the time, was orchestrated by Los Macheteros, a militant wing of the broader movement for Puerto Rican independence.

Gonzalez has pleaded not guilty to federal charges including bank robbery, conspiracy and transportation of stolen money.

In his ruling, Smith noted that the agents who arrested Gonzalez in a town in central Puerto Rico also found in his possession bomb-making manuals and an unregistered, loaded machine gun at his bedside. He said that in addition to any prison time imposed in Connecticut, Gonzalez faces potential imprisonment in Puerto Rico for having the weapon.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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The Puerto Rican Political Prisoners: Oscar Lopez Rivera, Avelino Gonzalez Claudio, and Norberto Gonzalez Claudio!

Dear Supporter,

New ProLibertad protest campaign we begin this holiday season, we are thinking about how we can broaden the movement to free our Puerto Rican Political Prisoners in the new year!

With every new year comes a sense of much possibility. We are sure this coming year will be a powerful and decisive time for our work to free Oscar Lopez Rivera, Avelino Gonzalez Claudio and Norberto Gonzalez Claudio; we are beginning to do all of the necessary planning to make this happen.

With that in mind, we are launching the "Friends of ProLibertad" initiative. The "Friends of ProLibertad" is a network of supporters that will help us reach our goal of $5000 for 2012. A minimum donation of $25 from our supporters will help us purchase a new campaign banner for protests and activities; print new high gloss brochures for distribution; re-launch a professional website; make an updated campaign t-shirt; and cover the costs of the venues we use for public activities.

For 17 years, ProLibertad has worked diligently to build the movement to free the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners with the support of our contributors. As we enter this holiday season and new year, we have high hopes of modernizing our outreach tools, creating new fund-raising opportunities and creating a network of support that will help us reach that inevitable day when Oscar, Avelino and Norberto walk free in their homeland, Puerto Rico.

Your support means so much; it helps us make freedom happen. Your support will reunite Oscar, Avelino and Norberto with their families and friends. These Prisoners of Colonialism have suffered enough and it is time for them to come home!. They should not have to spend any more holidays and New Year's Days behind the prison walls of this empire.

Thank you in advance for your donation. We look forward to sending you regular updates on our work and seeing you at our activities in 2012.

Sincerely Yours,

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign


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