The Washington Post
Thursday, August 12, 1999; Page A07

Puerto Ricans Offered Commutation

Compiled from reports by staff writers Bill McAllister and Don Phillips and the Associated Press

                  President Clinton offered to commute the sentences of 16 members of a
                  Puerto Rican independence group if they sign agreements renouncing the
                  use of violence. The group staged about 130 bomb attacks on political and
                  military targets in the United States from 1974 to 1983.

                  One administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said
                  the prisoners were not involved in any deaths.

                  Eleven members of the group would be released immediately from prison if
                  they agreed to Clinton's conditions; two others would have to serve
                  additional prison time before release; and three would have the unpaid
                  balance of their criminal fines canceled, according to a Justice Department

                  Clinton's action was in response to a campaign by human rights advocates
                  who have argued that members of the group known as FALN--the
                  Spanish initials for Armed Forces of National Liberation--were punished
                  too harshly.