Alberto Rodriguez

Alberto Rodriguez was born in 1953 in Bronx, New York and raised
in Chicago. While in high school he became part of a new
generation of Puerto Ricans in the US who demanded
recognition of their history and culture, and became active
in the struggle for liberation. He formed part of a group of
Latino students who, using the tactics of sit-ins and boycotts,
forced the Chicago Board of Education to be more responsive to
the needs of Latino students.

He entered the University of Illinois in 1972 and immediately became
involved in student struggles for a Latin American Studies
Program and for recruitment of Latino students. Upon graduation
in 1976 he began to work for community programs which provided
opportunities for working adults to pursue educational goals.
He also worked in various community organizations such as he Workers
Rights Center, El ComitÈ Pro-Orientacion Comunal, El Desfile del
Pueblo, Latino Cultural Center, and various anti-repression
committees.

When arrested in 1983 he was working as an academic counselor
at Northeastern Illinois University and was completing his
thesis requirements for a graduate degree from Governor's State
University. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy and
sentenced to 35 years. His release date is 2004. In prison, at
the US Penitentiary at Lewisburg, PA, Alberto enrolled in several
vocational programs, received certificates in real estate and
heating and air conditioning, and went on to become the
coordinator of the heating and air conditioning program. Alberto's
daughter, Yazmin, was five years old when he was arrested; his son,
Ricardo, only months old.

Edwin Cortes

Edwin was born in Chicago in 1955. In 1973, he became involved
in the formation of Latinos Unidos, a high school student
organization which advocated a Latin American Studies
Curriculum as well as cultural programs. At high school
graduation, he pulled a Puerto Rican flag from his gown
and unfurled it. He then presented the principal with Denis
Maldonado's Socio-Historic Interpretation to disprove his

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