OpinionOpinion | Betrayal and Blackouts in Puerto Rico

Opinion | Betrayal and Blackouts in Puerto Rico


However there may be purpose for hope. Whereas Puerto Rico’s Division of Justice, which is liable for the enforcement of the native legislation, permits impunity to go unchecked, Washington has begun to concentrate. A 2019 investigation by the USA Division of Justice discovered that after Hurricane Maria, PREPA workers accepted or demanded bribes to revive energy to residences and companies earlier than serving essential areas like San Juan’s Rio Piedras Medical Middle. The ability authority additionally mismanaged a warehouse the place supplies have been saved that ought to have been accessible to assist restore energy on the island. And over six years, greater than $300 million in public funds have been spent on luxurious motels for consultants associated to PREPA.

Final month the previous governor Wanda Vázquez was arrested on corruption fees, and not less than 9 mayors have been accused of corruption. They embrace Eduardo Cintrón-Suárez, the previous mayor of the Municipality of Guayama, who in July was sentenced to 30 months in jail for receiving money funds in alternate for executing municipal contracts and approving bill funds for an asphalt and paving firm. Many extra are believed to be beneath investigation.

Puerto Ricans shouldn’t should depend on the U.S. authorities to ship justice on a neighborhood stage. Our personal justice system should root out the corruption that threatens to suck the island dry. It could try this by investigating and prosecuting corruption to show, partially, that the island itself can take the reins of justice. It ought to demand that the federal authorities perform a fiscal restructuring that places safeguards in place that curb corruption.

Hurricane Fiona was only a Class 1 storm, which is why the size of destruction has taken so many people without warning. We knew issues have been unhealthy, however we didn’t notice simply how agonizingly unhealthy. Within the years since Hurricane Maria, our battered infrastructure has solely gotten worse. As of Wednesday evening, my water service and energy was restored. With different storms churning within the Atlantic Ocean, it stays to be seen for the way lengthy. A minimum of 20 hospitals are nonetheless working on mills.

What’s most galling is that it’s our personal individuals who rob and abuse us. The betrayal is so insidious that I seethe with anger if I give it some thought an excessive amount of. We’re uninterested in being displaced by rich foreigners, who flock to the island to bask on our seashores and get the tax breaks that aren’t accessible to us. We’re uninterested in politicians enriching themselves at our expense. We’re fed up with the blackouts.

After the hurricane handed, my neighbors and I checked on each other. I used to be moved to tears when my upstairs neighbor instructed me that our group spirit, the best way we glance out for each other, is what has helped us survive these previous few years. Nobody is coming to avoid wasting us. We’ve proved ourselves able to ousting one governor from workplace, and we received’t cease till we’ve got created a greater, fairer Puerto Rico.


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