Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation
Fuerzas Armadas Liberacion Nacional Puertoriquena (FALN)
Popular Boricua Army
Ejercito Popular Boricua
Throughout the late 1970's and mid-1980's the Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation ("FALN" or in Spanish, Fuerzas Armadas Liberacion Nacional Puertoriquena) and the Popular Boricua Army (Ejercito Popular Boricua), commonly known as the Macheteros, claimed responsibility for numerous bombings and robberies, causing a reign of terror in both the United States and Puerto Rico. The FALN operated in the continental United States, while the Macheteros were active mostly in Puerto Rico.
United States law enforcement first learned of the existence of the FALN on October 26, 1974, the date the group issued a communiqué taking credit for five bombings in New York. . Ultimately, over the next decade, FALN activities resulted in 72 actual bombings, 40 incendiary attacks, 8 attempted bombings and 10 bomb threats, resulting in 5 deaths, 83 injuries, and over $3 million in property damage.
Similar to the FALN, the existence of the Macheteros became publicly known when the group sent a communiqué to the United Press International in which they claimed credit for the death of a Puerto Rican police officer on August 24, 1978. The goals of the Macheteros were complete autonomy and sovereignty for Puerto Rico. In order to achieve their goals, the Macheteros conducted an armed struggle against the United States Government, mainly represented through attacks on military and police, in several cases causing the death of U.S. servicemen. In a January 1981 attack, Macheteros commandos infiltrated a Puerto Rican Air National Guard base and blew up 11 planes, causing approximately $45 million in damages.
The capture and conviction of the individual members of the FALN and Macheteros brought an end to the reign of terror in Puerto Rico and the United States. Although a few random assaults may have occurred, mostly in Puerto Rico, the continual assaults on New York, Chicago, and law enforcement and Naval officers in Puerto Rico virtually came to a halt.
On August 11, 1999, President Clinton extended offers of clemency to sixteen terrorists incarcerated in federal prison. Prior to these offers, he had offered clemency to only three federal prisoners.
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