CODEPINK's "Most Wanted" Campaign Targets Luis Posada Carriles for Terrorism

Call for Notorious Terrorist to be put on FBI Most Wanted List and Arrested


CONTACT: Medea Benjamin (415) 235-6517

Nancy Mancias (415) 342-6409

Dana Balicki (202) 422-8624

CODEPINK: Women for Peace, the most visible anti-war group in the country, will be in Miami on January 12-14 to launch its Most Wanted Campaign, focusing on infamous Miami-based terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. In 2008, the FBI launched a new 20-city billboard ad campaign targeting the Most Wanted Criminals and Terrorists, with Miami one of the target cities. But Miami's most notorious terrorist, Posada Carriles, is not on the list. CODEPINK is calling for the FBI to put Posada Carriles on the Most Wanted List and for our government to arrest or extradite this dangerous man to Venezuela, where he is a wanted on 73 counts of first degree murder for the bombing of a civilian airliner.

• Saturday January 12th, 11am-6pm
Distribute Wanted Posters around Miami community, including Little Havana Meet 11am at Versailles Restaurant (3555 SW 8th St) or 1pm at Radio Miami (3009 NW 7th St)

• Sunday January 13th
All day and overnight vigil at symbolic location (for details call 415-235-6517)

• Monday January 14th
9am Press Conference at Miami FBI office
16320 Northwest 2nd Avenue, North Miami Beach 12 noon Rally at Office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen 8660 West Flagler Street, Suite 131

"George Bush claims nations that 'harbor terrorists.. .are just as guilty as the terrorists and [they] will be held to account.' Yet Posada Carrilesóknown as the Osama bin Laden of Latin America‚ÄÄîlives freely in Miami," says Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange. "The Bush administration's failure to detain or extradite Luis Posada Carriles makes a mockery of the war on terror."
"Attacking civilians is reprehensible no matter who does it and for what 'cause'", says Jodie Evans of CODEPINK. "All terrorists must be brought to justice, and that includes Posada Carriles. That's why we have put him on our Most Wanted List."

For more information on the Most Wanted Campaign visit:

Target No. 1 Luis Posada Carriles: Wanted for Terrorism

What is CODEPINK’s Most Wanted Campaign about?

We discovered that in 2008, the FBI is launching a new 20-city billboard ad campaign targeting the Most Wanted Criminals and Terrorists. The FBI will place billboards in strategic locations where they can be seen by millions driving by each day, asking the public to call the FBI with any tips or leads. We have looked at the FBI’s Most Wanted List, and it fails to include many people we think should be on that list. So we’ve started our own Most Wanted Campaign.

Who is Luis Posada Carriles and why is he on your Most Wanted List?

In the FBI’s campaign, Miami was chosen as one of the 20 cities. Yet when we looked on their list of Most Wanted, we discovered that an important name was missing—that of Luis Posada Carriles.

Luis Posada Carriles is known worldwide as a ruthless terrorist. He masterminded the destruction of Cubana Airline Flight 455 on October 6, 1976. The plane blew up just after taking off from Barbados, killing all 73 men, women and children aboard, including the entire teenage Cuban Olympic fencing team. Within 24 hours, according to a declassified FBI cable dated the next day, an intelligence source "all but admitted that Posada had engineered the bombing of the airplane." He was arrested and jailed for nine years in Venezuela until 1985, when he bribed his way out of prison.

In 1997, Mr. Posada orchestrated a series of hotel bombings in Havana intended to deter the growing tourism trade in Cuba. In one bombing incident, an Italian tourist was killed and 11 people wounded. In a taped interview with New York Times reporter Ann Louise Bardach, Mr. Posada proudly assumed responsibility and suggested such acts of terror would continue. "It is sad that someone is dead," he said, "but we can't stop."

Then in November 2000, Mr. Posada was arrested in Panama, charged and convicted as the ringleader of a conspiracy to assassinate Fidel Castro during a state visit - a plot that involved detonating a carload of plastic C-4 explosives that could have killed dozens of innocent bystanders.

But instead of spending the rest of his life behind bars, Posada Carriles lives freely in Miami! The Bush administration’s failure to detain or extradite this dangerous man makes a mockery of the U.S. war on terror.

What are the campaign goals?

Our goal is the inclusion of Luis Posada Carriles on the FBI Most Wanted List, and his prosecution in the U.S. or extradition to Venezuela, where he is wanted on 73 counts of first-degree murder. We also aim to highlight the need to stop the U.S.’s selective enforcement of terrorism, and to expose the duplicity of elected officials, particularly Congressmember Ros-Lehtineen and Congressmembers Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balarts—congresspeople who have advocated on behalf of Posada Carriles.

What activities will CODEPINK engage in?

We will launch the Campaign in Miami on January 12-14. We will produce 5,000 Posada WANTED postcards addressed to the FBI, and will spend several days doing outreach on the streets of Miami (including Little Havana) asking people to sign the cards. On Sunday, January 13, we will do a 24-hour vigil at a symbolic location. On Monday, we will go to the FBI at 9am to turn in the cards and demand the arrest of Posada Carriles. We will also protest the FBI destruction of five boxes of evidence related to the case. At noon we will go to the office of Cong. Ros-Lehtinen to demand that she stop supporting terrorism.

The next phase will be our billboard campaign, based on the FBI campaign. Our billboard, with a profile of Posada Carriles and text Wanted for Terrorism, will encourage people, if they see him, to call the Miami FBI. We will attempt to put several billboards up in downtown Miami, starting in February.

In Washington DC, we will pressure members of the Congressional Judiciary Committee and Homeland Security Committees to call for Posada’s arrest. We will do vigils out side the Justice Department, calling on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to enforce U.S. anti-terrorism laws. We will follow the Federal Grand Jury proceedings in New Jersey on this case to see if it produces results.

We will also organize a mock trial in Miami that will include legal and academic experts, as well as victims’ families.

Why target Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen? How is she involved?

After the July 2005 terrorist attack in London, the Congresswoman said, "The targeting of innocent lives is insidious and shows the utter disrespect that perpetrators of terror have for humanity. Those who committed this callous act must know that our determination to neutralize terrorism is unshaken and that we will not yield in the face of such perfidy."

Yet in the case of Luis Posada Carriles, in 2003 Ros-Lehtinen, along with Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balarts, pressured then Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso to release Posada, Pedro Remón, Guillermo Novo and Gaspar Jiménez. All four were convicted in Panama of plotting to blow up a university center where Fidel Castro was scheduled to visit. In one of her last acts before leaving office, Moscoso pardoned the four men.
In May 2007 the same Congresspeople denounced the Justice Department’s cooperation with the government of Cuba on collecting evidence on Posada Carriles and the 1997 hotel bombing that killed an Italian tourist, a case that is still under a New Jersey grand jury probe. The representatives “condemned the Bush Administration Justice Department's so-called ‘search for evidence on terrorism’ from the Cuban terrorist regime.”

As Jim DeFede of the Miami Herald wrote in an article about Ros-Lehtinen, “The nobility of your cause cannot be a justification for terror, because every terrorist believes that what he is doing is right. Which is why the only way to fight terrorism is to condemn it in all its forms and not just when it is politically convenient.”

Isn’t it dangerous to do this in Miami, where there is a militant right-wing Cuban community?

Yes, those who live in Miami know that there are elements of the Cuban community who are very violent. They have bombed and beaten people who dared to criticize their positions. But if the US. is going to have moral standing in the world, we must be consistent in opposing all violence against civilians and holding all terrorists accountable. It’s up to us to force our government to stop holding a double standard of condemning some acts of terrorism and supporting others.