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P.R. Nationalist Denied Parole

February 1, 2001

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ A Puerto Rican nationalist given a reduced sentence by former President Clinton has been denied parole, authorities said.

A federal review board denied Juan Segarra Palmer’s request during a meeting at Coleman Federal Prison near Ocala, Fla., prison spokesman Richard Celli said Wednesday.

Segarra Palmer, 50, was among 12 former members of militant pro-independence Puerto Rican groups who accepted a clemency deal from Clinton in 1999. Eleven were freed from prison, but Segarra Palmer received a reduced sentence.

Convicted in connection with a $7.1 million armored car robbery in 1983 to fund the separatist Machetero group, Segarra Palmer was sentenced to 55 years in jail.

Celli declined to say why the federal review board had denied parole on Tuesday, but said the prisoner probably would not receive another chance before his scheduled release in 2004.

Segarra Palmer’s lawyer, Rafael Anglada, said he had sought parole based on his client’s good behavior. He said he plans to appeal.

Segarra Palmer belonged to the Macheteros, who were blamed for attacks on civilian and U.S. military targets in Puerto Rico, including a 1979 shooting at a Navy bus that killed two people and wounded nine others.

The eleven nationalists who were freed in 1999 belonged to the Armed Forces for National Liberation, known by the Spanish acronym FALN. The FALN was involved in some 130 bombings in the United States that killed six and wounded dozens from 1974 to 1983.

They were not convicted in the bombings, but rather on sedition and weapons charges and received sentences ranging from 35 to 90 years.

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