1) Calle 13 on US Colonialism In Puerto Rico

Calle 13 have shown themselves to be supporters of Puerto Rican independence from the United States in a number of their songs, expressing pride in their Latin-American identities. Residente’s lyrics in ‘Querido FBI’ (Dear FBI) express anger at US interference to deal with independence activists. In the chorus, he calls for freedom, shouting ‘¡Viva Puerto Rico libre!’.


Apart from mentioning the massacres of Ponce and Cerro Maravilla, the main cause for the release of this track is the death of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos – the leader of the Ejército Popular Boricua (Puerto Rican People’s Army) – who was murdered in 2005 by the FBI. Having fled while on bail in 1990, he lived as a fugitive for many years. After the FBI opened fire on him in 2005, he was injured and bled to death while the agents watched. Although the Secretariat of Justice in Puerto Rico asked the US government to provide full details of the operation, this request was denied.


Queridos compatriotas…                               (Dear compatriots)

Hoy me disfrazo de machetero…                    (Today I’m dressing as a machetero)

Nuestra bandera la han llena’o de meao…     (They have pissed on our flag)

Mi gente… murió desangra’o                          (And my people have bled to death)

Nunca arrodilla’o,                                            (Never kneeling down)

Lo van a tener que enterrar para’o                 (They’ll have to bury them standing up)

Con el machete al la’o”                                    (With their machetes by their sides)


“Que se activen…                                            (We need to actívate)

Urbanizaciones, caseríos,                               (All of the neighbourhoods)

El FBI se ha metido en un lío…                       (The FBI has got itself into a big mess!)

En el nombre de Filiberto Ojeda Ríos                         (In the name of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos)
Me tumbaron el pulmón derecho                    (They took out my right lung)

Pero todavía respire…                                                (But I’m still breathing)

A los federales con piedras les tiro                  (I’m gonna throw rocks at the Feds)

Y si no hay piedras                                          (And if there aren’t any rocks)

Pues les tiro con güiro                                     (I’ll throw güiros at them!)

Con lo que sea,                                               (Whatever’s around!

Tumbaron al hombre pero no a la idea”         (They took out the man away but they can’t destroy the idea)


Fucking cabron gobierno que permite esto…            (Fucking bastard government that allows this!)

Protesto por una masacre en Ponce               (I protest because of the Ponce massacre)
Protesto por un Cerro Maravilla”                     (Because of the Cerro Maravilla massacre)


“Lo que hay es que activar a los corillos         (What we need to do is raise people’s voices)

En vez de apuntar pa’ los mismos caseríos    (Instead of shooting at each other…)

Apuntar pa’ arriba, pa’ donde hace frío           (Shoot up… to where it’s cold…)

Pa’ los del Norte”                                             (To the US government)


This song clearly lets out a lot of anger, and Calle 13 probably know that they wouldn’t get much commercial success if they consistently released tracks like this. The existence of this song shows the overt nature of their determination to have an impact on the political consciousness of their country. It is also a big kick in the teeth for US imperialists, who rely on the ignorance and apathy of those who forge popular culture in order to keep people distracted from thinking critically about the real reasons behind the injustice they suffer.


Querido FBI – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CFvdFSN9wM

CALLE 13 HOMENAJE A FILIBERTO OJEDA http://www.taringa.net/posts/offtopic/15178293/Calle-13—Querido-F-B-I.html


About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 1) Calle 13 on US Colonialism In Puerto Rico

  1. Pingback: Subversive Thought 4 Today | Moorbey'z Blog

  2. Pingback: Calle 13: The Ayotzinapa Case Is a Disgrace | Resistance Is Fertile

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s