Alamosa activist wins suit against FBI
SANTA FE, N.M. ” An activist attorney from Colorado received $106,500 to settle two federal lawsuits that claimed he was illegally detained at traffic stops in New Mexico, Colorado and Illinois because his name appeared on an FBI terrorist-watch list.
Francisco “Kiko” Martinez of Alamosa, Colo., said Monday in a news release the settlement includes $45,000 from the federal government. Defendants agreed to pay his share of mediation expenses but that amount wasn’t specified.
Martinez filed a federal lawsuit last July in Santa Fe and another in Chicago in December. Both were settled earlier this summer.
Spokesmen for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Department of Justice declined comment.
“The significant concessions made to Martinez add to the mounting evidence that the war against terrorism is being conducted unlawfully and in disregard of the Constitution,” the news release said.
In all three traffic stops, Martinez claims officers detained him without probable cause or reasonable suspicion of a crime.
Martinez, an activist in the Chicano movement, alleged he was improperly added to a terrorist watch list because of crimes for which he was charged in 1973. His name was cleared of those allegations in the 1980s.
Martinez was accused of mailing three package bombs in Denver ” to a police officer, a school board member and a motorcycle shop. None exploded. Martinez, who spent seven years as a fugitive in Mexico, denied the charges.
His attorney maintained Martinez didn’t meet the criteria for the FBI’s watch list and was placed there because of his political beliefs. An FBI spokesman said previously that the agency won’t confirm names on the list.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com