Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Emotions Running High

This week is turning out to be quite an eventful one at the State Capital (el capitolio), where police clashed with protestors today, and had to use pepper spray and lacrimogenic gas to disperse them. It all started on Monday, when the pugnacious State Senator majority leader Thomas Rivera Schatz (PNP) made an inappropriate homophobic remark towards Senator Eduardo Bhatia (PPD), who also fired back with an insult. For the integrity of this blog, I won't delve into the details of this exchange. Truth be told, the actions of these two gentlemen makes me wonder about the direction of Puerto Rico's future. When two elected officials have to resort to cat-calling, and behave like children, one can't help but do some soul-searching. Like the popular public service announcement slogan says, "¿Que nos pasa Puerto Rico?" (Translation: "What's going on with us in Puerto Rico?")

Mr. Rivera has seemingly not given this question much thought, and decided to grab as many headlines as he can possibly get. Yesterday, he finally bowed to pressure and allowed the public and the press to attend congressional sessions. He had gradually been limiting such access, especially after the intense media coverage of the arrest last week of Sen. Héctor Martínez (PNP), who is facing charges of corruption. The Senate majority leader's restriction on the press has been called unconstitutional, and various local press associations have gone to the Puerto Rican Supreme Court to demand the re-opening of the plenary sessions to the public.

Today's skirmishes occurred when University of Puerto Rico students attempted to enter the capitol building to attend the congressional session taking place. Some journalists and photographers were assaulted by the police as well. Today's session was the last before the start of the new fiscal year 2010-2011. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have not been able to find common ground on various budgetary measures. During a period in which Puerto Rico is experiencing some very tough economic challenges, as well as social problems, such events serve no purpose in helping the island move forward in resolving its issues.

(The image above was obtained from


Cassie said...

Wow! I didn't even hear about any of this until I read your blog. Obviously the mainstream media doesn't pay much attention to Puerto Rico. I love your blog, you should write more about what you do. What got you interested in living in Puerto Rico? What do you do there? We want to live on the west coast of Puerto Rico at some point. You can check out our blog too if you want:

Moises Colon said...

Violence is never an option but the the authorities should never lower their posture to third hidden agendas. I support what happened this time. This island is not a state, yet, but thankfully neither a third world country, let's keep it that way. My humble opinion.

adriana said...

Hello Cassie and Moises,

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. It is very much appreciated. :)

Cassie- will soon submit a more personal entry. Thanks for your suggestion. I will definitely visit your blog.