Blog of Rights

Updates on ACLU Fact-Finding Mission to Puerto Rico

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 3:26pm

Update: 5/2/2011 5:55 PM EDT:

Students in the audience at the town hall at the University of Puerto Rico Law School.
Delegates listen to students' stories of police brutality at the University of Puerto Rico Law School.

Update: 5/2/2011 5:29 PM EDT:

Anthony Romero speaks at the University of Puerto Rico Law School. The delegation at the table: Jennifer Turner, ACLU Human Rights Researcher; William Ramirez, Executive Director of the ACLU of Puerto Rico; Juan Cartagena; Rosie Perez; Angelo Falcon; Carlos Delgado. The panel heard testimony from university student victims of police violence and abuse.

Update: 5/2/2011 5:11 PM EDT:

Anthony Romero and Rosie Perez head to a town hall meeting at the University of Puerto Rico Law School.

Update: 5/2/2011 4:32 PM EDT:

Carlos Delgado takes notes as he listens to panelists talk about police brutality.

Update: 5/2/2011 3:30 PM EDT:

Minority House of Representative legislator Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto (left) talks about being attacked by police while trying to assist student journalists being beaten by police

Today and tomorrow, the ACLU is in Puerto Rico on a fact-finding mission to document and draw attention to civil liberties and human rights violations that have been occurring there. The delegation includes actor Rosie Perez, baseball legend Carlos Delgado (right) and ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

During the past 18 months, individuals protesting at the University of Puerto Rico, the Capitol building steps, the Supreme Court and other locations have been subjected to beatings by police armed with night sticks, tear gas and pepper spray. The delegation is meeting with journalists who have faced police violence and restrictions when reporting on these incidents, as well as protestors, including university students, union leaders, workers and other citizens.

This morning, delegates met with government officials including the Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock, Attorney General Guillermo Somoza and Independent Monitor of the Police of Puerto Rico, Efraín Rivera Pérez, as well as legislators of both majority and minority parties.

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