“There is no greater power that the one enclosed in the double look…one its edge to puncture the truth and the other to carve hope!” -Ana Lydia Veg

 

by Franklin D. López,

former United Press and the Associated Press writer

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Someone very wise and experienced once said, “that failure makes people humble!” Last week Local FBI Director Douglas Leff, admitted “that Federal law enforcement agencies in the territory have failed in the war against crime!” His bleak assessment was mostly motivated by two violent acts of violence; one on Isla Verde Avenue in plain daylight where the culprits killed with machine guns and firearms two persons and the second firing from a moving car also killing two citizens. The people’s media in the Internet filmed both incidents in full color and distributed through social media, the gruesome violent acts! Both incidents generated an appalling social alarm and government and politicians as usual, used the occasion of the spotlight to project their own plans and mirages to deal with the new old crisis. Puerto Ricans were known as a docile and peaceful people! We were supposed to carry the peaceful genes and spirit of the Arawaks Caribbean Indians. Then the mandatory question is What Happened?

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The territory has evolved from the showcase of the Caribbean to the gateway of drug trafficking in the Caribbean to the United States. But wait, I cannot blame drug trafficking for the establishment of the narco territory of Puerto Rico, this is more serious than a blame game! There are a number of social and political behaviors that have contributed enormously to the state of present affairs in the once “Enchanted Island.”

Let’s enumerate the most relevant:

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I-  The loss of civic and corporate responsibility. The society of Puerto Rico of the fifties and sixties  was one full of civil high spirits, you could see and feel the positive social interaction of the Exchange clubs, the Lions Club, the Kiwanis, the Rotary, and many citizen’s organizations, all committed to improve and correct social inequalities and improving the quality of life. You could see them in the streets of San Juan and in small-town through-out the Island and they met every week inviting public personalities to debate and find new ways to improve life in the territory! The speed of living was slower, relaxed and structured with a truthful social conscious!  Sadly,  you don’t see that anymore! People, now live in their own bubbles, with their personal egotistical agenda and in enclosed gated communities.

 

 

II- Almost total Impunity from Federal and territorial law enforcement agencies with government corruption and waste. According to the Office of the Comptroller Of Puerto Rico 10% of the territorial budgets of the territorial and municipal governments, is lost in acts of corruption and government waste. That is a staggering two thousand millions dollars. Local Federal agencies with limited Federal funding have to decide either to prosecute drugs traffickers or politicians. But at the same time I have seen how a former head of white collar crimes At the U.S. Attorney investigated 5 corporate entities and days after resigning became its’ lawyer or the case of  a member of Governor Pedro J Rossello’s cabinet that was offered $150,000.00 dollars to approve a project in Vega Alta and a sting was planned to film the criminal act in an Atlanta Hotel in coordination with the Atlanta FBI office and a Federal Judge tipped the culprits and derailed the arrest! But the crime was bigger. The U.S. Department of Justice could have pursued the prosecution of conspiracy to commit a Federal crime but it was swept under the rug.

III- Ten of thousands of pensioners and government workers lost billions in the collapse of  the Public debt. $72 billions of bonds debt issued generating more than $3 billions in lawyer’s and bond sellers fees, knowingly using false financial statements and projections and not even one has been prosecuted. The same with the culprits responsible for the collapse of the Financial system. In 2010 three local FDIC insured banks failed. Costing the U.S taxpayer more than $ 20 billions in losses. BUT “NOT One” of the responsible bankers was prosecuted! The public Pension fund was used by governors to cover up budget deficits and bankrupted it with total impunity!When impunity reigns the people loses faith in its’s institution and government. Impunity and corruption rules in Puerto Rico!

IV- Washington has a substantial role and responsibility on the collapse of the social structure of Puerto Rico! I experienced it when I had access in the inner sanctum of The White House. Washington treats Puerto Rico as a “separate entity” in the Caribbean, useful when is cold up north and a great playground to come to have fun and  raising funds for USA politicians!

V- Puerto Rico is dying!… and it’s social and political leaders are acting like an aggressive virus eating a decomposing body! Since the year 2000 more than 537,000 thousands people left the territory looking for a better quality of life in the United States. The U.S. Census projects that a million more will depart on or before 2050 This epic and  biblical population exodus if it continues at this pace will extinguished Puerto Rico and it’s people-  will slowly fad-away in the USA  melting pot.

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VI- If you need a detailed violence profile of Puerto Rico with lots of date see: http://www.arecibo.inter.edu/wp-content/uploads/biblioteca/pdf/perfil_de_la_violencia.pdf   – prepared in 2004is NOW!

We don’t USA politicians to come to Puerto Rico and express “noncomittal positions” on our political status. We don’t need USA politicans to come an use the Island for fund raising and as pleasure  playground. We need bold leaders to recognized that time has come to act and to act Nopw. We have two models to look at; Hawaii and Alska. The only way that rthe 5.5. million PuertoRicins enjoying political Equality in the Union to come back to Puertto Rico is with statehood! The time to act is NOW!

 

 

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