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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Man Sentenced For Sex Trafficking Of Children


US Attorney's Office
San Juan
Press Release









SAN JUAN, P.R. – United States District Court Judge Francisco A. Be-
sosa sentenced José Luis Otero-Otero to 210 months (17 years and 6 mo-
nths) in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for sex traffick-
ing of children, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States
Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. Otero-Otero had plead guilty on
November 4, 2016.

According to the Plea Agreement filed on November of 2016, the defen-
dant sexually abused and/or engaged in illicit sexually explicit conduct
with at least four male minors. Otero-Otero knowingly recruited, enticed,
harbored, transported, provided, obtained, advertised, maintained, patro-
nized and solicited by any means two 12 year-olds, one thirteen and one
fourteen year-old male minors, knowing and in reckless disregard of the
fact that they were minors and caused them to engage in commercial sex
act.

The Government’s version of facts states that the defendant paid the male
minors between twenty and eighty dollars to engage in sexual acts. Otero-
Otero paid the victims in order for them to allow him to perform oral sex
on them and also for the minor males to penetrate Otero-Otero anally.

“Justice was done today. This sentence should serve to reassure the pu-
blic that we are paying close attention to the well-being of our children,
and that we will spare no expense to take child predators off the streets,”
said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “All child sexual pre-
dators will be held accountable for the unspeakable crimes they commit
and the harm they cause to their victims and their families.”

Project Safe Childhood is an initiative of the Department of Justice aim-
ed at preventing the abuse and exploitation of children by the use of digi-
tal cameras, computers and other digital and electronic media.

The criminal prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elba
Gorbea. ICE-HSI was in charge of the investigation with the collaborati-
on of the Puerto Rico Police Department.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Puerto Rico News Digest For March 29, 2017


DRUG LORD KILLED IN HAIL OF BULLETS



















Drug kingpin Ángel Gregorio Falero Velázquez, better known as "El Goyo"
was murdered last night at around 9:15 after falling victim to an ambush wh-
ile inside a red Jeep Cherokee in the Caimito sector of San Juan. According to
police, several dozen rounds where fired into the vehicle by unknown assail-
ants. The 59 year old trafficker had been a suspect in several murders and be-
came known to the public in 2008 when a pet panther he owned ran away and
terrorized neighborhood residents. Velázquez had been imprisoned in 2009,
but was paroled in 2011. He had been injured last year in an assassination
attempt.  


UPR STUDENTS GO ON STRIKE


From Caribbean Business:

"When the clock struck midnight, groups of about 20 people blocked each of
the six vehicle access-control and three secondary gates of the University of
Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras campus to protest proposed multimillion-dollar cuts
to the institution’s budget. Behind the campus gates, the students will be hold-
ing a series of panels called Bateys to discuss the university’s situation. When
questioned about the strike, the students said it is a way to force dialogue with
the various school officials. Members of the Puerto Rican Association of Univ-
ersity Professors (APPU by its Spanish acronym) and the Non-teaching Exem-
pt Employees Association (HEEND by its Spanish acronym) are also participa-
ting in the strike..."


GUAYNABO MAYOR PLEADS THE FIFTH


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"Guaynabo Mayor Héctor O’Neill took the fifth amendment on Monday after
having been a subpoenaed by the island Justice Department in the case of alle-
ged sexual harassment of a female police officer. O’Neill arrived at the Justice
Department in the morning after being summoned regarding the sexual harass-
ment lawsuit in which he was involved and in which he reached a monetary a-
greement with the victim, a female municipal police officer. O’Neill paid $300,
000 to the woman and $150,000 to the woman’s partner in exchange for the o-
fficer dropping the administrative complaint..."


JARESKO'S OVERSIGHT BOARD SALARY CRITICIZED 


From El Nuevo Dia:

"In view of the fiscal crisis Puerto Rico is facing, Governor Ricardo Rosselló
and Resident Commissioner in Washington Jenniffer González yesterday criti-
cized—on separate occasions—the salary awarded to the executive director of
the Oversight Board (OB), Natalie Jaresko, who will earn $625,000 a year. Wh-
ile Rosselló described the salary as “excessive”, González referred to the remu-
neration as “disrespectful”. “We want to have a positive relationship (with the
OB), but I also have to say that the salary does capture the attention. The salary
is, in my opinion (and taking into account) the moment we’re living in Puerto
Rico, excessive..."


FRONTIER AIRLINES COMES TO LMM AIRPORT


From News Is My Business:

"Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines will begin flying to the Luis Muñoz Ma-
rín International Airport for the first time starting June 11, 2017, Puerto Rico
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Tuesday. The flights will arrive from the
Orlando International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport. Fron-
tier, based in Denver, Colorado, will operate daily flights to both destinati-
ons on Airbus A321 aircraft, which have a maximum capacity of 230 pass-
engers..."



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pervert To Be Sent To Prison For Child Porn



US Attorney's Office
San Juan
Press Release








Thirty-Seven Year-Old Man Found Guilty Of Possession Of Child 
Pornography

SAN JUAN, P.R. – After a three-day jury trial and four hours of delibe-
ration, Joed Torres-Monge was found guilty of one count of possession
of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia
Rodríguez-Vélez. United States District Court Senior Judge Juan Pérez-
Giménez presided over the trial.

According to the Indictment, from on or about March 16, 2015 through
May 6, 2015, the defendant knowingly possessed materials, which con-
tained images of child pornography, where the production of such visu-
al images involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit con-
duct.

During trial, the government presented evidence that Torres-Monge do-
wnloaded numerous pictures and videos from the Internet depicting mi-
nors, in some cases infants, engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

“The conviction of Torres-Monge shows the commitment of our state
and federal law enforcement agencies to apprehend and prosecute cri-
minals whose crimes victimize children,” said United States Attorney
for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “The U.S.
Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico will continue to prose-
cute sexual predators in order to protect the vulnerable victims of these
crimes, our children.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ginette
Milanes. The now convicted defendant faces a maximum penalty of
twenty (20) years in prison. The sentencing is scheduled for July 21,
2017.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Puerto Rico News Digest For March 27, 2017


FREAK TORNADO HITS SJ METRO AREA





The National Weather Service in San Juan has confirmed that an F0 tornado,
with winds between 50 and 75 mph, struck parts of Trujillo Alto and Rio Pie-
dras yesterday afternoon, shortly after 3:00 PM. Several trees and power lines
were knocked down by the rare weather phenomenon, and a house is reported
to have lost its sheet metal roof. No injuries have been reported as a result of
the weather event. Tornados are fairly rare in Puerto Rico, typically only occ-
urring once every 1-2 years.


KILLINGS IN BAYAMON & GURABO OVERNIGHT


A man was shot to death shortly before 4:30 AM today at Las Gardenias hou-
sing project in Bayamón. Acoording to El Vocero, a 911 call alerted authoriti-
es regarding shots fired in the area. Upon arrival, police discovered the lifeless
body of the so far unidentified man. Meanwhile, in Gurabo, three burnt bodies
were found inside a car close to 9:00 AM today in the El Silencio sector of that
town. The bodies have not yet been identified.


UKRAINE EX-FIN. CHIEF TO WORK ON PR CRISIS


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"The federal Financial Oversight and Management Board announced on Th-
ursday the appointment of Natalie Jaresko as executive director. Jaresko, born
in Chicago, was Ukraine’s minister of finance from 2014 to 2016 and served
during one of the most critical periods of that Eastern European country’s his-
tory when it was shaken by a deep recession. During her tenure, Jaresko led
the negotiation and implementation of the largest International Monetary Fu-
nd program in the history of the institution, as well as a restructuring of sov-
ereign debt and guaranteed sovereign debt. She also led the reduction of total
 public expenditure from 53 percent of GDP in 2014 to just over 44 percent
in 2016, reducing the public financing deficit by more than 75 percent to 2.1
percent of GDP in 2015..."


PPD SENATOR WARNS: "1000s OF DISMISSALS"


From Caribbean Business:

"Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Rossana López denounced on Sun-
day that the government’s Fiscal Plan will lead to “thousands” of dismissals
and workday reductions. According to the senator, 5,744 transitory employ-
ees  will be dismissed as of July 1 due to a 50% reduction to the public pay-
roll, and 1,148 more employees will lose their jobs next year. “The Fiscal
Plan has at least five projected scenarios that present fiscal incongruences
exceeding $1 million. This increases uncertainty regarding the country’s
fiscal stability, the veracity of the Government’s estimates, and leaves the
door open once again to workday reductions and more dismissals,” López
said in a written statement..."


D.A. POINTS WINS PUERTO RICO OPEN


From ESPN:

"Points opened the final round of the Puerto Rico Open with five straight
birdies, and then overcame a rugged stretch by saving pars and piling up
enough birdies for a 6-under 66 on Sunday and a two-shot victory. It was
the third PGA Tour victory of his career, and felt just as sweet as when he
won at Pebble Beach with Bill Murray as his partner, and four years ago
at the Houston Open to get to the Masters..."


Friday, March 24, 2017

Puerto Rico Events For This Weekend






















Friday, March 24

Heineken Jazz Fest

The renowned latin jazz festival celebrates its 27th installment from March
23rd to the 26th. This year it is dedicated to pianist and composer Danilo Pé-
rez. Performers will include vivanativa Funk & Blues, Spyro Gyra, Ellis Mar-
salis’ Quintet, Danilo Pérez & Bobby Valentín & The LJ’s, among others.

Where: Bahía Urbana, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Time: Performances start at 8:00 PM (5:00 PM on Sunday 3/26)
Admission: $12 on Thursday 3/23, $20 Friday, Saturday & Sunday
(+ tax/fees)


Manatí Coffee Bloom Festival

The first ever "Festival De La Florecida Del Café" features coffee tastings,
informational lectures, vendors, handicrafts, classic car and bike exhibitions
and a troubadour competition. Runs from Friday to Sunday.

Where: Manatí Public Square (Plaza Publica De Manatí), Padial Street
Time: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Admission: Free


Santa Isabel Agrofair

The southern town of Santa Isabel holds its 9th agricultural fair, featuring
agricultural classes and exhibits, live music, carnival ride, food kiosks and
vendors. Runs from Friday to Sunday.

Where: Patron Saint Fairgrounds (terrenos de fiestas patronales)
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Admission: Free



Saturday, March 25

Sociali.ize Puerto Rico 2017

"The most complete social experience of your life. An entertainment event
beyond social media." Features gaming, stand-up comedy, roller skating,
live music, lazer tag and more

Where: Puerto Rico Convention Center, Guamaní Street, San Juan
Time: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Admission: $15.00 (+tax/fees)


Kids' Art Workshop

Workshop is offered in the gazebo area and aimed at children ages 4 and
up, including those with special needs. Materials are included. Kids create
works of art inspired by the Botanical Garden as they learn about design
and composition.

Where: University of Puerto Rico Botanical Garden, San Juan
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Admission: Free


Puerto Rico Islanders vs New York Cosmos (Soccer)

The Puerto Rico Football Club (PRFC) kicks off the 2017 North American
Soccer League season by facing off against the defending champions.

Where:  Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, Bayamón
Time: 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Admission: $10.00 - $50.00



Sunday, March 26


Gózate Ballajá

An afternoon of Puerto Rican music with the students and faculty of the
Dr. Francisco López Cruz foundation. Food, coffee, sangria and art gallery
in an Old San Juan setting.

Where: Cuartel De Ballajá, Calle Del Morro, Old San Juan
Time: 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Admission: Free


Goya Culinary Festival 2017

Goya holds its 5th Culinary Festival features food competitions and live
music. Goya will double attendees' food donations for charity. Free parking.

Where: Goya Foods of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico 28, Bayamón
Time: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Admission: Free if you bring three units of the following Goya products,
per person: Adobo, Medium Grain Rice, Beans, Juices or Dux Cookies.






For more information on visiting Puerto Rico, read The Real Deal
Guide to Puerto Rico, only $3.59 in e-book format!




Thursday, March 23, 2017

USA Beats PR In World Baseball Final



















Los Angeles (PRM) -- After an undefeated streak marked by some nerve-
wracking games, the Puerto Rican team fell to Team USA 8 to 0 in the to-
urnament final last night, missing its shot at Puerto Rico's first ever World
Baseball Classic championship. Puerto Rico also made it to the finals at
the last WBC in 2013, but was defeated that time by the Dominican Re-
public. The United States team had been beaten by Puerto Rico earlier
in this tournament, in the Pool F game on March 17th. The Boricua te-
am won that encounter 6-5. It then advanced to the semifinals, where it
defeated The Netherlands in another nailbiter, this one a 4 to 3, 11 inn-
ing game this past Monday night.

The Puerto Rican team, which gained notoriety not just for its perform-
ance, but also for its signature blond-dyed hair, will nonetheless receive
a hero's welcome in San Juan  later this morning. The team is expected
to arrive at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport at around 11:00 AM
local time. They will then lead a caravan from the airport to the Conven-
tion Center in Miramar, where a celebration will take place from 1:00 to
7:00 PM. WIPR TV will broadcast the event.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Puerto Rico News Digest For March 22, 2017


PR VS USA FOR WORLD BASEBALL FINAL


















The USA beat Japan 2-1 last night in Los Angeles, Califor-
nia to advance to the finals of the 2017 World Baseball
Classic, where they will face off against a red-hot Puerto
Rico. The boricua squadron itself advanced to the finals
by beating the Netherlands on Monday night, 4-3 in the
eleventh inning. The WBC championship game will take
place tonight starting at 9:00 PM Eastern/Atlantic time,
and will mark the second time the Puerto Rican team
reaches the WBC finals.


$450M BUDGET CUT PROPOSED FOR UPR


From El Nuevo Dia:

"The proposal made by the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) to
face the million-dollar reduction in funds—as provided in the
Fiscal Plan and certified by the Oversight Board (OB)—inclu-
des reducing the academic offerings, consolidating adminis-
trative units, and implementing an income-based tuition. The-
se initiatives seek to address the $450-million adjustments in-
cluded in the Fiscal Plan presented by Ricardo Rosselló’s admi-
nistration and certified by the OB. Nevertheless, this figure co-
uld be reduced to $241 million, if the Oversight Board welcomes
a series of measures listed by the Governor in a letter issued
yesterday..."

[NOTE: At an assembly yesterday afternoon at the Río Pie-
dras campus, UPR students voted to hold an indefinite strike
starting on April 6 to protest the proposed cuts. -Ed.]


AGENCY CHIEFS VISIT POT DISPENSARY


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"The secretaries of the departments of Health, Rafael Rodri-
guez; Treasury, Raúl Maldonado; and Agriculture, Carlos Fl-
ores, on Monday inspected the facilities of NextGen Pharma,
a new Puerto Rican pharmaceutical industry that is dedica-
ted to the cultivation, manufacture and dispensing of medi-
cal cannabis. During the tour of the facilities,the Health se-
cretary defended the administration bill that seeks to ma-
ke viable the legislation covering treatment with medical
cannabis in Puerto Rico...explaining that to date in Puerto
Rico there are nine cannabis cultivation companies, five
manufacturers and seven licensed dispensaries..."


GONZALEZ TO CAMPAIGN FOR STATEHOOD


From Caribbean Business:

"Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González will spend this
weekend in Puerto Rico to join the New Progressive Party’s
(NPP) campaign for statehood ahead of the June 11 political-
status plebiscite. The NPP vice president informed from her
office in Congress that she will begin pro-statehood gathe-
rings this weekend in which the entire party leadership par-
ticipate. “The June 11 referendum for Pu-erto Rico’s immediate
decolonization isn’t just another referendum; circumstances
changed and the consequences are irreversible,” the resident
commissioner said in a written statement released by her office.
She assured that Congress unveiled the commonwealth’s colo-
nial reality and allocated funds toward a decisive plebiscite..."


TODAY IS ABOLITION OF SLAVERY DAY


Today, March 22, marks the observance of Abolition of
Slavery Day (Día de la Aboloción de la Esclavitud) in Pu-
erto Rico. The day commemorates the emancipation of
slaves in the island in 1873, when Puerto Rico was still
governed by Spain. Most state and local government
offices and schools are expected to be closed, although
federal government facilities will function as normal.
Most banks, although not all, will operate during their
normal business hours. If in doubt, check with your
financial institution. Practically all other businesses
are expected to operate as normal.