Dylcia Pagan by vagabond ©

Dylcia Pagan & Puerto Rican Independence

Dlycia Pagan - Puerto Rican Heroine by vagabond ©
Dlycia Pagan – Puerto Rican Heroine by vagabond ©

Today is Dylcia Pagan’s birthday. If you don’t know who Dylcia Pagan is then that’s probably by design. To know Dlycia is to know is to know that Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States since 1898 and this isn’t a fact that the US likes to highlight as it supposedly beats the drum for democracy and freedom around the world from North Korea to Afghanistan. So not knowing who Dylcia is, is by design, because to not know Dylcia is to not know that the US has been a colonizing power in Puerto Rico for over a hundred years. Why are Dylcia and Puerto Rico’s colonialism so inextricably linked? Because Dylcia is a former US held political prisoner of war who spent 20 years in US prisons for fighting to free Puerto Rico from US colonialism.

Dylcia was a member of the FALN (Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional  or the Armed Forces of National Liberation), a clandestine Puerto Rican group that used any and all means, including military means, to achieve the liberation of Puerto Rico from US colonialism. They were labeled a terrorist group by US law enforcement and they were hunted down as such. On April 4th of 1980, the FBI arrested a number of FALN member in Illinois and Dylcia was among those arrested. She was charged with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the US government. During her trial, she and her co-defendants chose to take a prisoner of war status as was their right under the Geneva Convention. The US legal system refused to recognize their status as Prisoners of War and Dylcia and her co-defendants refused to recognize the jurisdiction of the US government. In the end the US government found them guilty and sentenced them to incredibly long prison terms. Dylcia was sentenced to 63 years.

In September of 1999, President Clinton pardoned Dylcia and nine other Puerto Rican political prisoners of war. She’s been living in Loiza, Puerto Rico since she was release. Although Dylcia is best known as being a freedom fighter, it’s only a part of who she is, her story and the sacrifices she made for her ideals make her a heroine, not just for Puerto Ricans, not just for women, but for all of us… Check out the short film below i did of Dylcia where she’s tells her own story…

For more info on Dylcia Pagan visit her website…

Connect with Dylcia on Facebook
Connect with Dylcia on Google+

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-QL


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