ACLU Delegation to Puerto Rico

April 27, 2011

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In contrast to recent non-violent protests in Wisconsin, Puerto Rican police have violently cracked down on protestors in the U.S. territory in blatant violation of their constitutional rights. 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. Constitutionally protected expression has been seriously restricted by heavily armed SWAT and riot squad teams.

The ACLU is hosting a delegation in San Juan Monday and Tuesday on a fact-finding mission to document and draw attention to egregious civil liberties and human rights violations that have been occurring in Puerto Rico. The delegation is meeting with journalists who have faced police violence and severe restrictions when reporting on these incidents, as well as protestors, including university students, union leaders, workers and other citizens. Delegates are meeting with government officials, including the Secretary of State, Attorney General, the police superintendent and legislators of both majority and minority parties.

Delegates:

Angelo Falcón (born June 23, 1951 as Angel Manuel Falcón), is a political scientist best known for starting the Institute of Puerto Rican Policy (IPR) in New York City in the early 1980s and his studies of Puerto Rican and Latino politics and policy issues. He is President of the National Institute for Latino Policy (formerly the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy), a nonprofit and nonpartisan policy center that focuses on Latino issues in the United States. more»

Anthony D. Romero became executive director in September 2001, a week before the September 11, 2001 attacks. He is the first openly gay man and the first Hispanic director of the civil liberties institution. more»

 

Carlos Delgado was born in the El Prado section of Aguadilla. There, he attended elementary school alongside his three siblings. Both his father, "Don Cao", and his grandfather, Asdrúbal "Pingolo" Delgado, were well-known figures in the town. more»

Juan Cartagena is a constitutional law and civil rights attorney with extensive litigation experience in the areas of voting rights, education, employment discrimination, and language rights. more»

Rosie Perez is a Brooklyn-born actress/choreographer. Perez attended Los Angeles City College before making the cattle-call rounds for dancing jobs. She worked a few seasons with the TV variety series Soul Train, then went on to perform at the LA club Funky Reggae. Here she was spotted by director Spike Lee, who cast her in a choice role in his 1989 film Do_The_Right_Thing. more»

Watch a video of police violence against students participating in paint-in at the University of Puerto Rico:

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