PUERTO RICO
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
(unincorporated, organized territory of
the US with commonwealth status)
Joined United Nations:  24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
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Updated 14 November 2012
CAPITAL
POPULATION
CHIEF OF STATE
SELECTION PROCESS
San Juan
3,690,923 (July 2012 est.)
Barack Hussein Obama
President of the United States
since 20 January 2009
President and Vice President elected via electoral college for a
four year term; eligible for a second term.
Under the US
Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such
as Puerto Rico, do not vote in elections for US president
and vice president;
election last held 6 November 2012

Next scheduled election: 8 November 2016
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
SELECTION PROCESS
Alejandro Javier García Padilla
Governor since 21 January 2013
Governor elected by popular vote for a four-year term (no term
limits); election last held 6 November 2012

Next scheduled election: 8 November 2016
DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ETHNIC GROUPS
White (mostly Spanish origin) 76.2%, black 6.9%, Asian 0.3%, Amerindian 0.2%, mixed 4.4%, other 12% (2007)
RELIGIONS
Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant and other 15%
GOVERNMENT
STRUCTURE
Unincorporated, organized territory of the US with commonwealth status; policy relations between Puerto Rico and the
US conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of the President; there are no first-order administrative divisions as
defined by the US Government, but there are 78 municipalities (municipios, singular - municipio) at the second order;
Legal is based on Spanish civil code and within the US Federal system of justice; governor election last held 6 November
2012 (next to be held in 8 November 2016)
Executive:  President and Vice President elected  by electoral college of the United States Congress for four year terms,
eligible for second term (not voted for by Puerto Rico residents); Governor elected for four years with no term limits
Legislative: Bicameral Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (at least 27 seats - currently 29; members are directly
elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives (51 seats; members are directly
elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 6 November 2012 (next to be held 8 November 2016); House of Representatives - last held
6 November 2012 (next to be held in 8 November 2016)
Judicial: Supreme Court; Appellate Court; Court of First Instance composed of two sections: a Superior Court and a
Municipal Court (justices for all these courts appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate)
LANGUAGES
Spanish, English
BRIEF HISTORY
The settlement of Puerto Rico began with the arrival of the Ortoiroid culture from the Orinoco region in South America.
Some scholars suggest that their settlement dates back 4000 years. An archeological dig at the island of Vieques in 1990
found the remains of what is believed to be an Ortoiroid man (named Puerto Ferro man) which was dated to around
2000 BC. The Ortoiroid were displaced by the Igneri, a peaceful tribe from the same region that arrived on the island
between 120 and 400 AD. Between the seventh and eleventh century Arawak Indians are thought to have settled the
island. During this time the Taíno culture developed, and by approximately 1000 the Taíno culture had become dominant.
Taíno culture has been traced to the village of Saladero at the basin of the Orinoco River in Venezuela. They arrived at
Puerto Rico by migrating across the Lesser Antilles. At the time of Columbus' arrival, an estimated 30-60 thousand Taíno
Amerindians, led by cacique (chief) Agüeybaná, inhabited the island which they called Boriken, meaning "the great land of
the valiant and noble Lord". Christopher Columbus set sail from Cádiz for his second voyage on September 25, 1493
with 17 ships and 1,200-1,500 men. On November 19, 1493, he landed on the island, naming it San Juan Bautista in
honor of Saint John the Baptist. The first settlement, Caparra, was founded on August 8, 1508 by Juan Ponce de León, a
lieutenant under Columbus, who later became the first governor of the island. The following year, the settlement was
abandoned in favor of a nearby islet on the coast, named Puerto Rico (Rich Port), which had a suitable harbor. In 1511, a
second settlement, San Germán, would be established in the southwestern part of the island. Sometime during the 1520s,
the island took the name of Puerto Rico while the port became San Juan. Colonization took shape as encomienda
settlements, where settlers enslaved Taínos as laborers and these, in return, were provided with military protection. To
stop the exploitation of the indigenous people and because of pressure by the Roman Catholic Church the Burgos' Laws,
which modified the encomiendas into a new system called repartimientos, were issued on December 27, 1512 by
Ferdinand II of Aragon. However, the laws were mostly ignored and reality was more akin to abject slavery. In 1511, the
Taínos revolted against the Spanish. Sparked by the possibility of immense wealth the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries saw
many attempts by the European powers to wrestle control of the Americas away from Spain. This, in turn, led to many
invasions of the island of Puerto Rico. These invasions had varying degrees of success but in the end, all failed to maintain
permanent control of the island. In 1528, the French, recognizing the strategic value of Puerto Rico, sacked and burned
the southwest town of San Germán. They also destroyed many of the island's first settlements, including Guánica,
Sotomayor, Daguao and Loíza, before the local militia forced them to retreat. The only settlement that remained was the
capital, San Juan. Spain, also recognizing the strategic value of Puerto Rico, began the fortification of the inlet of San Juan
in the early 16th century. In 1532, construction of the first fortifications would begin with La Fortaleza ("the Fortress")
near the entrance to San Juan bay. On November 22, 1595, English privateer Sir Francis Drake, with 27 vessels and
2,500 troops, sailed into San Juan Bay in an attempt to loot the city. The 17th century and 18th centuries saw more
attacks on the island. On September 25, 1625, the Dutch,under the leadership of Boudewijn Hendrick (Balduino Enrico),
attacked San Juan, besieging Fort San Felipe del Morro and La Fortaleza. In 1812, the Cádiz Constitution was adopted,
dividing Spain and its territories into provinces, each with a local corporation or council to promote its prosperity and
defend its interests, and granted Puerto Ricans conditional citizenship. On August 10, 1815, the Royal Decree of Grace
was issued, allowing foreigners to enter Puerto Rico (including French refugees from Hispaniola), and opened the port to
trade with nations other than Spain. The later half of the 19th century was marked by the Puerto Rican struggle for
autonomy. On September 23, 1868, hundreds of women and men in the town of Lares, stricken by poverty and political
estrangement from Spain, revolted against Spanish rule seeking Puerto Rican independence. The struggle for autonomy
came close to achieving its goal when on November 25, 1897, the Carta Autonómica (Autonomic Charter), which
conceded political and administrative autonomy to the island, was approved in Spain. On March 10, 1898, Dr. Julio J.
Henna and Robert H. Todd, leaders of the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, began to correspond
with United States President William McKinley and the United States Senate in hopes that they would consider including
Puerto Rico the intervention planned for Cuba. On July 21, a convoy with nine transports and 3,300 soldiers, escorted by
USS Massachusetts (BB-2), sailed for Puerto Rico from Guantánamo. General Nelson Miles landed unopposed at
Guánica, located in the southern coast of the island, on July 25, 1898 with the first contingent of American troops.
Opposition was met in the southern and central regions of the island but by the end of August the island was under United
States control. On October 1, an initial meeting is held in Paris to draft the Peace Treaty and on December 10, 1898, the
Treaty of Paris is signed (ratified by the U.S. Senate February 6, 1899). After the signing and ratification of the Treaty of
Paris of 1898 Puerto Rico came under the military control of the United States of America. The rule of the military
government in Puerto Rico was short lived. It was disbanded on April 2, 1900 when the US Congress enacted the
Foraker Act (also known as the Organic Act of 1900), under sponsorship of Senator Joseph B. Foraker. This act
established a civil government and free commerce between the island and the United States. The structure of the insular
government included a governor appointed by the president, an executive council (the equivalent of a senate), and a
legislature with 35 members, though the executive veto required a two-thirds vote to over-ride. The first appointed civil
governor, Charles Herbert Allen, was inaugurated on May 1, 1900. The Jones Act was approved on December 5, 1916,
and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on March 2, 1917. The law made Puerto Rico a United States
territory which is "organized but unincorporated". It also granted U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. A bill of rights,
which established elections to be held every four years, was also created. The Act also made English the official language
of the Puerto Rican courts. After World War II social, political and economical changes began to take place that have
continued to resonate until today. The end of World War II saw the beginning of a two decade migration to the
continental United States, mainly to New York. The main reasons for this were an undesirable economic situation brought
by the Great Depression and the heavy recruitment made by the U.S. armed forces and U.S. companies. Political changes
began in 1946 when President Truman designated the first native as governor of Puerto Rico, Commissioner Resident
Jesús T. Piñero, and when one year later the United States Congress passed an act allowing Puerto Ricans to vote for
their own governor. The first elections under this act were performed on November 2, 1948. On July 4, 1950, President
Harry S. Truman signed Public Act 600, which allowed Puerto Ricans to draft their own constitution establishing the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. On July 25, 1952, the Constitution of Puerto Rico was approved by voters in a
referendum, and the island organized as the Estado Libre Asociado (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). That same year
marked the first time that the Flag of Puerto Rico could be publicly displayed. Present-day Puerto Rico has become a
major tourist destination and a leading pharmaceutical and manufacturing center. Still, Puerto Rico continues to struggle to
define its political status. Even though Puerto Rico was granted local autonomy in 1952 it remains a territory of the United
States. This ambiguity continues to spark political debates which dominate Puerto Rican society. The nature of Puerto
Rico's political relationship with the United States is the subject of ongoing debate in the United Nations and the
International Community. According to two consecutive Bush Administration President's Task Force Reports, the latest
of which was issued on December 21, 2007 Puerto Rico is an unincorporated organized territory of the United States,
subject to the plenary powers of the United States government. The Popular Democratic Party has challenged the Bush
Administration's Task Force Reports stating that in 1953 Puerto Rico achieved a compact of association between both
nations that was recognized by the United Nations. Nonetheless, the aforementioned U.S. Presidential and Congressional
Reports state that the current prerogatives assumed by the Puerto Rico government are delegated by the U.S. Congress
and may be amended or eliminated at its sole behest. On June 15, 2009, the United Nations Special Committee on
Decolonization approved a draft resolution calling on the Government of the United States to expedite a process that
would allow the Puerto Rican people to exercise fully their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
Sources   Wikipedia: History of Puerto Rico
ECONOMIC OVERVIEW
Puerto Rico has one of the most dynamic economies in the Caribbean region, however, growth has been negative for the
past four years, and unemployment rose to nearly 16% in 2011. The industrial sector has surpassed agriculture as the
primary locus of economic activity and income. Mainland US firms have invested heavily in Puerto Rico since the 1950s.
US minimum wage laws apply. Sugar production has lost out to dairy production and other livestock products as the main
source of income in the agricultural sector. Tourism has traditionally been an important source of income with estimated
arrivals of more than 3.6 million tourists in 2008. Closing the budget deficit while restoring economic growth and
employment remain the central concerns of the government.
Sources  CIA World Factbook (select Puerto Rico)
POLITICAL CLIMATE
The 2012 Puerto Rico gubernatorial election was held on November 6, 2012, to elect the Governor of Puerto Rico.

The incumbent PNP Governor Luis Fortuño and Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi ran for a second term during this
election. Their major challengers were the PPD nominee and current Senator Alejandro García Padilla and his running
mate, Rafael Cox Alomar. The election also featured four minor party candidates, being the second time in 40 years with
six candidates for Governor.

In the morning of November 7, 2012, Fortuño conceded the election to Alejandro García Padilla, just as the last votes
were being counted. However, Pierluisi retained his position as Resident Commissioner by defeating Cox Alomar.

The 2012 Puerto Rican election was historic because:

 it was the second time in more than 40 years that six parties will participate in the election.
 it was the first time in more than 60 years that a status referendum will be held on the same day as the general election.
 it was the first time in Puerto Rico that absentee ballots are issued for those who will be out of the country the day of the
election.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Puerto Rico
INTERNATIONAL
DISPUTES
Increasing numbers of illegal migrants from the Dominican Republic cross the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico each year
looking for work
U.S. State Department
United Nations Human
Rights Council
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Freedom House
REFUGEES AND
INTERNALLY
DISPLACED PERSONS
(IDP)
None reported.
ILLICIT DRUGS
None reported.
Comite Pro Derechos
Humanos
U. S. STATE
DEPARTMENT
HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
The U.S. State Department does not issue an annual Country Report regarding the Human Rights practices of the United
states and its territories. It does, however, assess the Human Rights condition of foreign countries as stated below:

The protection of fundamental human rights was a foundation stone in the establishment of the United States over 200 years ago.
Since then, a central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been the promotion of respect for human rights, as embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter
aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.

Because the promotion of human rights is an important national interest, the United States seeks to:

  • Hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights
    instruments;
  • Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women's
    rights, children's rights, and the protection of minorities;
  • Promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity;
  • Assist efforts to reform and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human
    Rights and the UN Commission on Human Rights; and
  • Coordinate human rights activities with important allies, including the EU, and regional organizations.
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UNITED NATIONS
HUMAN RIGHTS
COUNCIL
28 April 2009
RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED FORMS OF INTOLERANCE, FOLLOW-UP TO
AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DURBAN DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION
Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related
intolerance, Doudou Diène*
Addendum
MISSION TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA**

Summary
At the invitation of the Government, the Special Rapporteur visited the United States of America from 19 May to 6 June 2008.
During the mission, the Special Rapporteur visited Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans and
the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast, Miami and San Juan (Puerto Rico).

V. ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT
93. The situation in Puerto Rico also merits particular attention by the Government in view of its specificity. A number of particular
elements should be borne in mind with regards to Puerto Rico: the ethnic dimension, including the racial make-up of the population
and the situation of the black minority in the island; the cultural dimension, including the Hispanic origin of the population; and the
political dimension, in particular the specific political status enjoyed by Puerto Rico in the United States. It is therefore essential that
specific actions, in line with Puerto Rico’s specificities, be undertaken to fight racism in the island.
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FREEDOM HOUSE
Freedom In the World 2012
Political Rights Score: 1
Civil Liberties Score: 2
Status: Free

Overview
In September 2011, a U.S. Justice Department report accused the Puerto Rican police force of systematic patterns of civil rights
violations, as well as attacks on civilians and journalists. In November, Governor Luis Fortuño announced that a referendum would
be held in 2012 for voters to decide whether Puerto Rico would remain a commonwealth, pursue U.S. statehood, or opt for
independence.

Fortuño moved to raise taxes and cut 30,000 workers from the public payroll in order to combat a fiscal crisis that was
exacerbated by the global economic downturn; the initiatives triggered a series of protests from trade unions in 2009. Layoffs
continued in 2010, with an additional 17,000 public jobs cut, leading to further protests. From April to June 2010, students
mounted a strike at the University of Puerto Rico, closing down 10 of the system’s 11 campuses to protest tuition increases and
cuts in public spending for higher education. Some violence broke out at the largest campus after police intervened in an effort to
halt the protests.

In September 2011, the U.S. Justice Department published a report accusing the Puerto Rico Police Department of “profound” and
“longstanding” patterns of civil rights violations and other illegal practices that have left it in a state of “institutional dysfunction.”
The report accused the police of attacking nonviolent protesters and journalists in a manner that compromised their constitutionally
protected rights to freedom of speech and assembly, as well as using unnecessary or gratuitous force, especially in low-income and
Dominican communities. The report also stated that unwarranted searches and seizures were common.

The commonwealth constitution, modeled after that of the United States, provides for a governor elected for four-year terms and a
bicameral legislature, currently consisting of a 27-member Senate and a 51-member House of Representatives, elected for four-year
terms. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are guaranteed all civil liberties granted in the United States.

Puerto Rico is represented in the U.S. Congress by a single delegate, who is allowed to vote on floor amendments to legislation, but
not on the final passage of bills.
Click here to read more»
AMNESTY
INTERNATIONAL
ANNUAL REPORT
2012

A federal Justice Department investigation found a pattern of ill-treatment by officers of the Puerto Rico Police Department.

Police
In September, the US Justice Department issued a report documenting a “pattern and practice” of abuses by the Puerto Rico Police
Department (PRPD), including excessive force and unjustified shootings resulting in numerous injuries and deaths, and illegal
searches and seizures. It found, among other things, that the police were responsible for the indiscriminate use of chemical agents,
batons and other force against student demonstrators at the Sheraton Hotel, San Juan, in May 2010.

The report also noted “troubling evidence” that the PRPD failed to adequately police incidents of sexual assault and domestic
violence, and routinely discriminated against people of Dominican descent.

The findings were the result of a three-year investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and included 133
recommendations for reform, including better training, policies and supervision. These were under review at the end of the year.

Freedom of expression
The Justice Department report documented a pattern of police attacks on non-violent protesters and journalists in a manner
“designed to suppress” the right to freedom of speech, guaranteed under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

In May, Amnesty International Puerto Rico discovered that access to its website had been blocked to students using the
Department of Education’s computers. Although the block was subsequently lifted following protests by Amnesty International, the
search term “advocacy” remained blocked by the Department at the end of the year.
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HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
A step backward for Puerto Rican women
by Marianne Mollmann
Published in: Puerto Rico Daily Sun
August 4, 2011

When it comes to ending violence against women, Puerto Rico has taken a giant step backward. To be sure, the islands have had a
comprehensive law to protect women and girls against domestic violence since 1989. But the Puerto Rican Supreme Court has
blocked a lot of women from its protection.

In a decision handed down in March, the Court upheld a lower court's ruling that a victim of intimate partner violence was not
protected by Puerto Rico’s domestic violence law because she was not married to the man who attacked her. The woman, who
was separated but not yet divorced from her husband, was battered by her new partner.

The Supreme Court held that the historical background of the law indicated that the Puerto Rican legislature’s intent was to protect
the integrity of the family and its members. So, it held, the law did not apply to extramarital affairs. The court did make clear that
the assault violated other criminal law provisions.

The ruling has, understandably, outraged many people, as far away as New York, where city and state elected officials voiced their
objections. For starters, Puerto Rico’s domestic violence law explicitly applies broadly to interpersonal relationships. It covers
violence by someone with whom the victim lives or has lived or has had a consensual relationship and does not require a marital
bond between the victim and the abuser. In other words, the ruling imposes a perverse interpretation on a commonsense and literal
reading of the law, based on far reaching assumptions about the intent of the legislature.

But more important, through this ruling the Puerto Rican Supreme Court is sending the message that some women may not deserve
equal protection from the state. This is the wrong message to put forward in a society where interpersonal violence is a serious
problem.

According to official sources, on average, 20,000 domestic violence incidents are reported every year in Puerto Rico, along with
about 3,000 incidents of sexual violence. Official sources estimate that, in the case of sexual violence, only about 15 percent of
rapes are reported.  If the proportion is the same for domestic violence, approximately 130,000 women and girls are subjected to
domestic violence every year, and 18,000 are raped, in a place with only 4 million people. Whatever the actual figures, violence at
the hands of their partners and families is a serious problem for Puerto Rican women and girls.

Paradoxically, Puerto Rican women are far from disempowered. Women on the islands achieved the right to vote in 1935, before
almost any nation in Latin America and the Caribbean (outdone only by Ecuador, where women have been able to vote since 1929).
And Puerto Rico’s women and girls have long outdone their male counterparts when it comes to education: a century ago, nearly
three quarters of the graduates from the University of Puerto Rico were women. Today approximately 160 women are graduating
from Puerto Rico’s higher education programs for every 100 men.
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OFFICIAL
GOVERNMENT HUMAN
RIGHTS STATEMENT
TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Freedom for Oscar López

The physical freedom. That was what the people of Puerto Rico on Tuesday demanded President Barak Obama for the Puerto
Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.

In his native towns like San Sebastian, Lares neighbor (the Altar of the Fatherland), Mayaguez, Humacao, San Germán, Vieques
and San Juan, various groups of university students, political, civic, cultural unfurled huge banners demanding the immediate
release Oscar. An airplane with a sign with the same slogan of freedom for Oscar!, Flew over the metropolitan area at noon. The
activities were part of the offensive campaign of the Committee for Human Rights in Puerto Rico (PCHR) in favor of the release of
Lopez Rivera and Puerto Rican political prisoners also brothers Avelino and Norberto Gonzalez Claudio.

In the morning at a press conference at the headquarters of the Bar Association in Miramar more than a dozen known personalities
in their fields, artists, activists, feminists, political, union and religious, political, professional, former political prisoners, joined their
voices in support of the release of Oscar López Rivera, who on Tuesday May 29 turned 31 natural prison which puts him as a
political prisoner who has spent more years in prison. More years in prison for political prisoners, Nelso Mandela the leader of the
South African nation, and Mahatma Gandhi, leader of India.

The spokesman of the Committee for Human Rights in Puerto Rico (PCHR), Luis Nieves Falcon, presented the new aspects of the
work of the campaign for the release. According described the campaign is in a critical phase, which will be intensified until the
election period of 2012 in the United States.

The release campaign is conducted in three fields, nationally, internationally and in the United States. On the international work
reported already has the specific request of the Nobel Prizes: Mariead Corrigan Maguire, Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Desmond Tutu
Mpilo. Each direct requests to President Obama in these figures between expressions says ... "to work for reconciliation and peace
we are again forced to repeat the claim of Isaiah: free those who are imprisoned."

Other prominent leaders in India have called on President Obama releasing López Rivera are Narayan Desai, rector of the College
founded and directed by Gandhi until his death in 1948; Mahaved Desai, son of Gandhi biographer, Arundhati Roy, a prominent
social critic and writer Ashis Nandy, social theorist recognized as one of the 100 world's most distinguished intellectuals, and Ela
Gandhi, granddaughter of Gandhi and parliamentarian who was the African National Congress (ANC).

In America the Socialist International (SI), which includes socialist parties around the world at its recent meeting approved a
resolution to request the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP). The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega joined the petition.
Another international body also demanded the release in recent months it was the Intercontinental Network of Women Against
Militarism (RIMCM), which includes representatives from Guam, Japan, Hawaii, Okinawa, South Korea, Philippines, United States
and Puerto Rico .

Also the first Congress of the Regional Political Integration, held in Uruguay in April in his final statement supporting the release.
This conference was organized by the Students Federation and Uruguay participated in the Puerto Rican political expresionero
Elizam Escobar.

In the religious sphere the Regional Ecumenical Organization and the National Council of Churches (with the participation of 26
regional leaders) in a recent meeting in Lebanon, was drafted and sent a letter to President Obama. "As people of faith, we appeal to
your sense of justice, her humanitarian spirit and sane to respectfully ask you to take a decision in favor of Mr. López Rivera and
allowed to return home," reads part of the letter. The meeting was representing Switzerland, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cuba,
Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Republic of Korea, Srilanka, Germany, Canada, Norway, Hong Kong, Finland, Malaysia, Lebanon, South
Korea, Tahiti, Ecuador, Ghana, Trinidad Tobago and Puerto Rico.
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COMITE PRO
DERECHOS HUMANOS
TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Monday, May 21, 2012
Strengthened Response to Violence Against Women

The governor of Puerto Rico, Luis G. Fortuño, along with First Lady Lucé Vela, announced new support for women
entrepreneurs: a program that provides up to $ 15,000 in funding to expand business and a scholarship fund for women
entrepreneurship development. The Governor made the announcement during his participation as a guest speaker at the Women
Entrepreneurial Workshop organized by the Economic Development Bank (EDB).

"We all recognize the increasing leadership role of women in promoting the economic development of our island, and even more, all
the challenges they face managing multiple roles as professionals, mothers, daughters and wives.'s Why we are committed to offer
all aid they need to grow and develop their businesses and provide the helping hand they deserve, "said the Governor.

The goal of the new banking product, called the Loan for Women Entrepreneurs, is to provide a source of financing to women
entrepreneurs to develop new or existing businesses. By having a maximum of only $ 15,000, the loan application process is much
easier for smaller companies or businesses. It is expected that this product is as successful as the Loan for Business Women,
which provides women with qualifying loans up to $ 500,000, with an interest of not more than 1%, which can finance up to 90%
of the proposed project. From 2009 to September 2012, 628 have been granted these loans, for a total of $ 87.8 million. Loans for
women currently represent 25% of the loan portfolio of the BDE, an increase of 17% since January 2009 when constituted only
8% of the portfolio.

The governor also pledged to continue to promote programs and Urban Market Bazaar where women entrepreneurs have the
opportunity to promote and sell their products successfully. In the 53 editions of these programs, in which 53% and 81%
respectively of the participants are women, have sold a total of $ 2.5 million in products. "These are programs like these that have
helped our entrepreneurs to present their business and realize their dreams," he said.

Meanwhile, the First Lady said that "as a government, we recognize the importance that each of you play in economic development
and progress of our Island also recognize the challenges faced in achieving many give life to your ideas, find opportunities to
develop their talents and become the entrepreneurs who have always aspired to be, along with the challenges faced by serving the
needs of the household, their children and their families. You are tested daily and therefore deserve all the support we can offer. "
Click here to read more »
OFICINA DEL
PROCURADOR DEL
CIUDADANO DE PUERTO
RICO
TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
January 28, 2011
8:12 p.m.
Irregularities in the Office of the Ombudsman
Comptroller found lack of official information on the purpose of the expenditure in restaurants by Carlos Lopez
By Inter News Service

The Comptroller's Office found irregularities in the Office of the Ombudsman (TPO), among which lack of information on the
official purpose of the expenses incurred by the Attorney Carlos López Nieves spent in restaurants and the names of the
participants in these encounters.

The audit, which covered the period from January 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009, included an analysis of the costs of representation and
used the money on trips abroad and inside the country by the former official.

According to the Office of the Comptroller, fiscal operations were irregular, as "lack of official information on the purpose of the
expenditure incurred by the attorney in restaurants and the names of the participants."

In turn, states that there is "lack of documents and reports detailed the steps taken on trips abroad made by the Attorney and lack
of information on the official purpose of the expenses incurred in such travel in restaurants and the names of the participants ".

López Nieves is investigated for years by the Office of the Comptroller, and has been recognized in the past by spending $ 6.513
paid card with representation in 41 restaurants.

In 2008, he declared that he would not return the money used: "But how can I return if I am doing work that has occurred in the
last year more than 46 million people of Puerto Rico by these confidences and these jobs we have done, to benefit the citizens. "

The former official was replaced in office last year by the former representative of the New Progressive Party (PNP), Iris Miriam
Ruiz.
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Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.
Vice President of the United States
since 20 January 2009
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Click flag for Country Report
TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS
None reported.