1985. The founder of the Instituto Legal de Puerto Rico, patterned after the Center for Constitutional Rights, Roberto Jose Maldonado had represented war resisters and was counsel for one of the Machetero leaders accused of robbing the Wells Fargo Bank when the FBI raided his apartment.
My wife and I were there when they arrived at six o'clock in the morning. An FBI SWAT Team landed in a helicopter on the top of our building, and came down with their gas masks, bullet proof vests, and automatic weapons. It was a military operation. Another team came up from the ground. They said, "This is the FBI and we want to search." I asked, "Do you have a search warrant?" to the head of the team. He said, "No," and I closed the door. They proceeded to tear the door down, and take over the house. They drove my wife, Coqui, from bed with a machine gun in her back. They pushed her up against the wall. The guy who was pointing the gun at her was hysterical: "Put your arms up! Get down on the floor!" His hands were shaking. They occupied the house until six o'clock in the afternoon. They went through everything. They took away all of Coqui's writings, a novel she was working on, all her poems, a whole darkroom. It looked like we had moved out when they left. I felt very powerless, very frustrated. It was like "1984" is here. Meanwhile, thirteen people were arrested that day. I was arrested as an afterthought seven months later.