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Kilómetro Cero NGO: “In Puerto Rico, the use of firearms was the leading cause of death among children and youth more than ten years before the same phenomenon occurred in the United States. However, unlike in the U.S., on Puerto Rican soil this fact has not raised any alarm bells, it has been kept hidden, out of the public discussion.”
The murder of 15-year-old Tanaisha Michelle and 13-year-old Naya Paloma Ramos Curet continues to be in the spotlight of Puerto Rican public opinion.
The girls were found shot in the early morning hours of July 25, inside a Toyota pickup truck that had previously been forcibly stolen. The murder, along with others that occurred in just six hours and in the early hours of a day of festivities for Constitution Day in Puerto Rico, has awakened the public to the wave of violent crimes affecting the country.
The mothers of the girls became aware of the disappearance of their daughters after a television report on the discovery of two female bodies. The minors had agreed to sleep at Tanaisha Michelle’s house, however her mother, after being alerted by the news, discovered that the teenagers were not at home. According to the head of the investigation branch of the police, Colonel Rivera Miranda, the girls never informed the tutors that they would go out on the street.
So far, the most solid evidence to continue the investigation is the cell phone of one of the girls, which was found by a passerby a short distance from the van. From the information that has been found on the phone, it has been possible to establish links with another crime that occurred in the Carolina locality.
El FBI solicita información con relación al doble asesinato de las jóvenes Tanaisha Michelle De Jesús Curet and Nahia Paola Ramos López. Si usted o alguien que conoce tiene información, llame al 787-987-6500 o deje una pista a través de https://t.co/zld5aY1KlBpic.twitter.com/ApyokKLLdB
The tweet reads, "The FBI is requesting information regarding the double murder of young women Tanaisha Michelle De Jesus Curet and Nahia Paola Ramos Lopez. If you or someone you know has information, call 787-987-6500 or leave a tip at http://tips.FBI.gov."
In this other tragedy, the victims are three young people, two of whom are minors. It is suspected that they lived in the same area where the girls resided.
“We already have at least one of the teenagers connected with the young women. We understand that they are two of the three. Possibly the third one, which is the oldest, was the one that led to this place,” Rivera Miranda said in a Puerto Rican media interview.
So far, work is being done to find a possible motive between the two events, but until more progress is made in the circumstances of the five murders, the hypotheses cannot be validated.
The authorities also suspect that there was another vehicle linked to the events, for which they are identifying the possible routes that could have been taken by the van in which the girls were traveling. We are also continuing to interview family members in search of any information that may contribute to the clarification of the facts.
FBI forces have joined the investigations, and a request for cooperation from the public can be found on the networks: "If you or someone you know has information, the FBI asks you to call 787-987-6500 or leave an anonymous tip through the FBI’s website."
In Puerto Rico, nine minors have been murdered so far this year, specialists say that these deaths are an indicator that the country is living in a climate of intensified violence and that society is fractured. Deaths by firearms have also increased in Puerto Rico, with the murder of minors being the leading cause of death in a decade.
A report by the non-profit organization Kilómetro Cero concludes that “in Puerto Rico, the use of firearms was the leading cause of death among children and youth more than ten years before the same phenomenon occurred in the United States. However, unlike in the U.S., on Puerto Rican soil this fact has not raised any alarm bells, it has been kept hidden, out of the public discussion.