Arocena is the founder of the anti-Castro Omega 7 paramilitary group. He was convicted on Sept. 22, 1984, after a six-week trial. A November 2010 prison document shows that he was found guilty of:
Attempting to kill a foreign official, attempting to use explosives to cause damage to personal property, lying to a grand jury, conspiring to manufacture and possess firearms, possession of unregistered firearms and firearms with obliterated serial numbers, conspiring to manufacture explosive devices and possession of explosive devices.
Now 70, Arocena is serving his prison term at FMC Rochester, a federal facility in southeastern Minnesota. His wife, Miriam, said in the petition:
He suffered a stroke. He is recovering. He has high blood pressure, chronic diabetes and glaucoma. His conduct has been exemplary. In the name of God, grant us this humanitarian petition. God bless this great nation.Arocena contends that he will be entitled to mandatory parole after completing 30 years in prison on July 22, 2013.
The National Appeals Board denied Arocena's request for parole on May 7, saying that it was up to the Bureau of Prisons to decide if he was eligible for a parole hearing and the bureau hadn't made that decision.
Federal guidelines allow mandatory parole hearings for inmates who serve 30 years - or two-thirds - of prison sentences of 45 years or longer.
Arocena also argued that he should be released because he has suffered a stroke. The National Appeals Board said poor health alone isn't sufficient reason to grant parole. It said in a letter to Arocena:
The Commission is aware of your health condition. Your health is not deteriorating. You have received therapy that has improved your condition. Therefore, you medical condition does not warrant an advancement of your release date.The Bureau of Prisons website shows Arocena's scheduled release date as March 18, 2050.
A website supporting Arocena states:
Eduardo Arocena is NOT a terrorist, but a patriot who deserves freedom!