Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crime in Puerto Rico

Last Sunday, El Nuevo Día (the local paper) published a very interesting article in its La Revista ("The Magazine") section titled "El miedo en la calle," (translation: the fear on the street). Beneath the title read: "La inseguridad en las capitales de América Latina" (translation: insecurity in the capital cities of Latin America). The article dealt with the rising crime levels facing many countries in Latin America, such as Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, and of course, Puerto Rico, amongst others.

Based on the statistics provided, there were 491 murders were committed in the first quarter of this year in San Juan. When compared with the major U.S cities, this would make the capital city of Puerto Rico the second most dangerous, after Washington, D.C. Ironically, according to this article, Mexico City had 375 murders and Caracas had just 130 murders in that same period. Both cities, I assumed, would have murder rates far worse than San Juan. As for reported robberies, the total for the first quarter of this year is said to be at 3,381 in San Juan, while figures for Mexico City and Caracas were not available.

Unfortunately, crime in Puerto Rico is a reality. Almost a year ago, I became a victim of a robbery myself. Luckily, nobody was hurt but I couldn't stop thinking about it for months. In fact, I still sometimes think about that awful afternoon. It was the first time I had a gun pointed at me, and I kept re-playing the whole scenario and thought of things which I could have done differently. When I tell my friends in the mainland U.S or abroad about the crime rates here on the island, many are surprised. My intention in writing this blog entry is not to alarm people, but to bring to the attention to those who were not aware of the situation. Like you would anywhere else, please be careful wherever you go.

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