Independence Militants Kill Police Undercover Agent
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ An undercover agent who led two young radicals to a moutain where they were killed by police eight years ago died in a hail of shotgun fire, and anonymous callers claimed he had been slain by a pro-independence group.
Gunmen killed Alejandro Gonzalez Malave late Tuesday outside the home he shared with his mother, police said.
An autopsy report said Gonzalez Malave was struck six times and died at the scene. His mother, Carmen Malave Rivera, was treated for a hand wound.
A Western news agency received three anonymous phone calls from the Volunteers for Puerto Rican Revolution, claiming responsibility for Gonzalez Malave’s death.
One caller said, ″All will fall, one by one,″ an apparent reference to officials involved in the July 25, 1978, ambush and police slaying of the two independence advocates on Cerro Maravilla mountain.
The FBI describes the Volunteers for Puerto Rican Revolution as one of the island’s most dangerous terrorist organizations.
It is the same organization that claimed responsibility for shooting and critically wounding Maj. Michael Snyder, 37, of Columbus, Ohio, a U.S. army recruiter, near an army garrison here last November. He recovered and has been reassigned.
The controversy surrounding the slayings of Carlos Soto Arivi, 18, and Arnaldo Dario Rosado, 24, is often termed Puerto Rico’s Watergate. Opponents of then-Gov. Carlos Romero Barcelo accused his pro-statehood government of a coverup.
Investigations from 1978 to 1981 by the Puerto Rico Justice Department and the U.S. Justice Department failed to establish substance to the charges.
But when the pro-commonwealth Popular Democratic Party took control in 1983 and opened hearings into the case, two police officers testified the young men had surrendered and were on their knees begging for mercy when police killed them.
The developments led to Romero Barcelo’s defeat when he sought re-election in 1984.
Ten police officers have been convicted of perjury and are serving jail terms. They and four other policemen have been charged with murder and face trial.
Gonzalez Malave was found innocent of perjury charges, and a murder charge was recently dropped by a Puerto Rico court.