Puerto Ricans Feel Drug-related Crime Closer

San Juan – The booming crime in Puerto Rico that continues to add deaths mostly from the control of drug outlets causes concern among citizens who feel the threat getting closer and closer.

Police reported Friday that a 28-year-old man was found dead with several gunshot wounds in Aibonito, a municipality in the interior of Puerto Rico, a new example of a violent episode of a problem entrenched in the society of the Caribbean island that in In recent weeks it has gained relevance for the increase in murders.

The trigger for this crisis of insecurity suffered by Puerto Ricans was the murder, on the 14th, of six people in a shooting in San Juan in what appears to be an adjustment of accounts for the control of a point of sale of drugs, only 24 hours after another violent incident in which two other individuals died in similar events.

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The list of dead increased during the following days, which led the governor, Wanda Vázquez, to convene an emergency meeting with agencies with security responsibilities.

The secretary of the Department of Public Security (DSP) of Puerto Rico, Elmer Román, asked the population to calm down before the criminal wave and assured that the problem would be addressed.

"We are not keeping our arms crossed," said the official, after acknowledging that the clarification rate of criminal cases in Puerto Rico is currently 31%, as recalled by the "lowest in the American nation."

The sociologist Hiram Guadalupe told Efe that the criminal wave "is constant and alarming", in addition to having greater social impact since social networks currently said, "approach in real time" any violent incident.

"We used to rely more on police leaks or the work of photographers," said the sociologist.

Guadalupe said that the "scene" has also changed, since today the murders are recorded in broad daylight and in public spaces.

The sociologist said that the problem has a direct connection with the drug and that, therefore, in his opinion, solutions that start, among other measures, with decriminalization and legalization must be addressed.

"The legalization of the drug is not a panacea," he said, although to clarify that it is a measure that would impact the market for controlled substances.

He also recalled that 90% of the murders that occur in Puerto Rico are related to the drug.

Guadalupe stressed that it is also evident that the problem of drug-related crime has its origin in increasing poverty and inequality in Puerto Rico.

He argued that different governments have failed to respond to the problem by cutting social assistance, when in his opinion allocating more resources to people in poverty is one of the measures to end this scourge.

The executive director of the social organization Community Initiative, Yorelis Rivera, told Efe that the change of codes in the world of crime has caused criminal acts such as murders to be taken to any public space.

Rivera said that, nevertheless, criminal acts have always been close to the poorest communities, but another thing is that they did not want to see the problem.

He said the roots of the problem are several, but an obvious one is the unemployment that is registered in the poorest areas of Puerto Rico, which pushes part of the population into the world of drugs.

"There is a lack of adequate education," he said, after indicating that school dropout should be undertaken as a way of responding to the problem.

He opted as a solution to, first of all, listen to the needs of the poorest sectors and, above all, enhance economic growth among the population.

Improving education is another of his proposals, which should include instilling respect for human rights.

The authorities announced before the criminal increase twelve-hour shifts for agents and more police presence, as well as increase preventive actions.

Puerto Rico serves as a "bridge" to the United States of the drug that comes from Latin America, since once in the Commonwealth the controls for the US are reduced. continental.

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