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Boricua Popular Army

The Boricua Popular Army (Ejército Popular Boricua in Spanish) is a clandestine terrorist group based on the island of Puerto Rico. They campaign for the independence of Puerto Rico from the United States.

The group has claimed responsibility for numerous armed robberies and terrorist bombings since 1978 and is currently lead by Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a former FBI Most Wanted Fugitives.

Also known as: Los Macheteros (or "The Machete Wielders" in English), Puerto Rican Popular Army.

Members of this group are called Macheteros (plural) or Machetero (singular).

Table of contents
1 Background
2 Notable acts / incidents
3 Terrorists or heroes?
4 Famous group members
5 References
6 Related Topics
7 External Links


Los Macheteros were organized in the 1970s by Filiberto Ojeda Rios, Juan Enrique Segarra Palmer and Orlando Gonzalez Claudio. The group began in 1976, but it can trace its origins back to the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN).

Upon its beginnings, the group attracted a wide variety of Puerto Ricans, including:

It should be noted that only some members of the above groups support the Macheteros ideology. For example, the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) has a similar political ideology but they differ completely in their tactics and strategies.

Notable acts / incidents


January 2, 1977 one day after Carlos Romero Barcelo was sworn in as Governor of Puerto Rico, two bombs were placed at an ROTC building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The bombs were succesfully destroyed by the police, but the Macheteros took responsibility for the incident.


Los Macheteros most infamous act was a Wells Fargo depot robbery of approximately $7 million in West Hartford, Connecticut (USA) in September 12, 1983. The group's code name for the robbery was "White Eagle" (or "Águila Blanca" in Spanish).

After the robbery, the Macheteros threw some of the robbed money to the air from high floor buildings and kept the remaining sum to fund the robbery operation.

By Puerto Rican, American, and International laws the act is considered as terrorist due to the way it was executed and the experience suffered by the Wells Fargo security guards.

The United States FBI charges for this robbery include: Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Robbery of Federally Insured Bank Funds, Armed Robbery, and Conspiracy to Interfere With Commerce By Robbery.

See also: White Eagle: the Wells Fargo depot robbery.


In the 1990s Los Macheteros claimed responsability on a bomb explosion that ocurred in a small power station in the Puerto Rican metropolitan area. The explosion damages left some Puerto Ricans without electricity.

In that same decade, the group also vandalized a new fleet of government vans and trucks that were parked in a government facility. The damages left the automobiles non-operative.

Terrorists or heroes?

As with all terrorist groups, Los Macheteros are considered by some as patriotic heroes or simply patriots, but according to Puerto Rican, American, and International law, they are considered as terrorists for the way they execute their acts. Most Puerto Ricans consider Los Macheteros to be terrorists and unpatriotic, however.

Famous group members

Name Remarks
Antonio Camacho Negron released from imprisonment by Bill Clinton's clemency
Filiberto Ojeda Rios co-founder
current leader
former FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives
Juan Enrique Segarra Palmer co-founder
Orlando Gonzalez Claudio co-founder
Victor Manuel Gerena former FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives
inside man for the Wells Cargo depot robbery


  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation (USA).FBI Fugitive Profile: Filiberto Ojeda Rios (2003). United States of America.
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation (USA).FBI Fugitive Profile: Victor Manuel Gerena. United States of America.

Related Topics

External Links