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News > World

Puerto Rico's Opposition Party Press Charges Against Power Firm

  • People hold signs reading

    People hold signs reading "Electricity for Caguas" during a protest in September, in San Juan, Puerto Rico January 15, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 January 2018

Five weeks after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans continue to languish as the acute humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold across the U.S.-held colony.

Puerto Rico's Popular Democratic Party (opposition) urged the government Monday to restore electricity in the island, 117 days after Hurricane Maria completely destroyed their infrastructures.

Neglect, Misery, Thirst, Disease: Puerto Rico Marks 100 Days Since Hurricane Maria

The Mayors Association' president, Rolando Ortiz Velázquez, from the same party, affirmed that many people died every day as a result of the lack of electricity, while small businesses were going bankrupt periodically.

“We mayors all feel the anxiety every day, the medical needs of people with diseases, the small business owners, we've all been victims at some level of the inefficiency of the Electric Power Authority,” or AEE, he said.

The mayors convoked citizens to march up to Puerto Rico's government, while the PPD spokesperson in the lower chamber Rafael Hernandez Montañez announced that the party was pressing charges against the AEE over alleged “political discrimination in the assignation of AEE brigades across the country.”

The lawsuit was filed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

The AEE’s mismanagement resulted in months of delays in the electrical repairs. Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USACE, revealed that government authorities seized thousands of materials which were supposedly out of stock.

Over 2,875 pieces of materials were discovered during a raid of a Palo Seco warehouse which was led by federal officers, accompanied by armed security personnel.

Both the USACE and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, were charged with managing the distribution of materials. 

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