Oso Blanco was recently transferred out of a West Virginia prison, facing harsh treatment through solitary confinement and the withholding of exercise breaks, according to his support team, who are calling on the public to write him letters of support.
Blanco is imprisoned because he robbed banks to send money to support the Zapatistas. He has a very incredible story and vision of life. I’ve been writing to him for a while but hadn’t been receiving any of his letters back for months (the f#%$ WV prison was censoring him).
From the Oso Blanco Support Team:
Byron Shane Chubbuck is an indigenous activists serving 80 years in prison for a series of bank expropriations throughout the southwest. He is part of the wolf clan Cherokee/Choctaw, raised in New Mexico. His indigenous name is Oso Blanco.
Chubbuck was known by the FBI as ‘Robin the Hood’ because he informed the bank tellers he was expropriating funds to assist the poor and indigenous people fighting for independence in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Chubbuck began his campaign in 1998 until his capture in August of 1999.
In August 13, 1999, two FBI agents investigating the series of bank expropriations came to Chubbuck’s apartment. The agents were interviewing Chubbuck’s wife when he entered. A shootout between the agents and Chubbuck erupted and he was able to flee. During the shootout no one was injured.
Chubbuck was found a little while later in an adjacent apartment with family members. The FBI surrounded the apartment and within a half hour, Chubbuck allowed the the family members to leave unharmed. Chubbuck, however, bashed through the walls in the building to slip into adjacent apartments in an effort to escape. He went though two or three apartments before emerging more thantwo hours later. Chubbuck tried to run but captured after being shot with several bean bags and attacked by a police dog.
He was charged with the robbery of 13 banks and the attempted robbery of a fourteenth. In addition to the robberies, he was also charged with two counts of assaulting a peace officer, two counts of possessing and discharging a firearm, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, all in connection the standoff.
On December 21, 2000, Byron Chubbuck, was being transported by the US Marshall’s service from Albuquerque Federal Court to Santa Fe County Jail, when, after unlocking his handcuffs, kicked out the back window of the prison transport van. According to statement made by Chubbuck on a radio interview, the key to the handcuffs was purchased from a prison guard.
During his escape, Chubbuck continued to expropriate funds to send to Chiapas, Mexico. Authorities believe he expropriated funds from about eight banks after his self-liberation. He was place in the “15 most wanted” fugitive list by the Marshals Service.
On February 2001, Chubbuck was recaptured after sustaining a gunshot would to his chest, shot by Albuquerque police.
In the end, Chubbuck was accused of expropriating funds from about 20-22 banks. He was convicted on 14 of those charges. It is estimated that he expropriated at least $165,000.
To reach out to Oso Blanco, contact his support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the address below. Besides letters of support, Oso Blanco is looking for articles on Cherokee history or culture.