Chicago-area family rejoices at Oscar Lopez Rivera’s commutation

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President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of 74-year-old Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Lopez was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the struggle for independence for the U.S. island territory. Puerto Ricans have long called for Lopez's release, a move that has been opposed by a national police organization, among others.

Lopez belonged to the ultranationalist Armed Forces of National Liberation. The group has claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at public and commercial buildings in U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Washington, during the 1970s and '80s.

Rivera’s brother Jose Lopez Rivera celebrated the news with former Chicago Alderman Billy Ocasio.

Lopez attorney Jan Susler told The Associated Press that she broke the news to him Tuesday and he said he was extremely grateful.

Puerto Ricans have long demanded the release of Lopez. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in a violent struggle for independence for the U.S. island territory. His release was opposed by a national police organization among others.