Freedom Comes at a Cost in Puerto Rico: An interview with Jon Marcantoni on Cerro Maravilla

In Puerto Rico, Freedom has been fought for and lost. And the losses are not just in the actual battles that occurred in places like Lares and Ponce, but also in the minds of some Puerto Ricans.

This week we take a close look at those who have been so colonized, that they feel statehood is the right option for an oppressed society, and murdered two young men to enforce it.


Historically, statehood supporters in Puerto Rico have waged a war on the Puerto Rican Nation, essentially acting as an extension of the United States, who has kept the island colonized. The Statehood supporters submitted to the racist theories that Puerto Ricans cannot lead and are not capable of having their own nation. Their premise is that we have always been Americans… but unfortunately history tells a different story, and they cannot white-wash the identity we carry with pride.

Although they lost their identity to a country that has denied them freedom for 120 years, the rest of us who are committed to the ideals of democracy, freedom, and the understanding that all men are created equal….  believe it is essential to any Society, and no less a Puerto Rican Society.

“We hold these truths be self-evident”… Puerto Rico is a Nation that deserves it’s pursuit of Freedom.

The Cerro Maravilla Incident

This week we go way back to 1978, to a mountain-side in Puerto Rico where two young men lost their lives in pursuit of freedom and justice.

Their names were Carlos Enrique Soto Arriví and Arnaldo Darío Rosado Torres.

In order to tell the story of the Cerro Maravilla Murders, I had the help of a Puerto Rican Playwright called Jon Marcantoni. He wrote a play called Puerto Rican Nocturne that tells the story of these two murders from the point of view of the detective that master-minded the entire thing, and worked with local law enforcement to cover it up. This story also tells the story from the perspective of a family that never recovered from the brutal murders of their children.

About Jon Marcantoni: 

A Novelist, Playwright, and Founder of LCG Press: Unconventional literature by Latin American authors. He has been featured in the Huffington Post, LA Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, NBCLatino, Fronteras on NPR. His work has been featured in Across the Margin, PANK Magazine, Minor Literatures, Numero Cinq, The New Engagement, Latino Rebels, Enclave, and others. He works out the humanity behind the labels that separate us, and what keeps us from fighting capitalist exploitation. You can get in touch with Jon at jon.marcantoni@gmail.com.

Don’t miss this riveting look at how colonized minds react to the dreams of two young activists who are simply seeking to have what many Americans take for granted: Freedom.

As an American, we need to do better. We need to ask ourselves how we can be comfortable in knowing that we colonize others, when we fought and won our own independence from the English.

I ask every American: don’t let the American values we hold dear mean nothing in Puerto Rico. Let’s learn together, fight together, and be part of the change that liberates this Island Nation.

Thank you for listening this week and be sure to share and follow/subscribe.

You may also find these links interesting:

  • Latino Rebels Article on the Murders and an interview with iLe, a Puerto Rican Singer:

Today in History: The Tragedy of Cerro Maravilla (VIDEO)

iLe Discusses New Video ‘Odio’ and Its Poignant Message During Live Interview

  • “Odio” Music video by the artist iLe, about the Murders:




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