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Friday, July 10, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For July 10, 2015


From US Dept. of Justice:

After an eight-day jury trial, José Cepeda-Martínez, Peter Rosario-Serrano and
Juan Tanco-Baez were found guilty of firearm offenses, announced United States
Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. United States District Court Senior Judge
Daniel Domínguez presided over the trial. According to the evidence presented at
trial, on or about March 26, 2014, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) arres-
ted Cepeda-Martínez, Rosario-Serrano and Tanco-Báez for weapons violations and
for the murder of an individual which occurred at the Román Baldorioty de Castro
Expressway in Carolina, PR  on the same day.

In the morning of March 26, 2014, a 911 call alerted the PRPD about a rapid gun-
fire reported at the Baldorioty Expressway. The call also alerted about a Jeep Che-
rokee fleeing the scene and going towards San Juan. Officers who were patrolling
the area noted and identified the license plate of the Jeep Cherokee, and immediate-
ly pursued the vehicle. The individuals ended up fleeing the scene and later were
arrested. A total of three Glock Pistols, two of them modified to fire as automatic
weapons, ammunition, marihuana and three cellular phones were seized upon arrest.


From Caribbean Business:

The Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (Prasa) canceled contracts with compa-
nies in charge of the Capital Improvements Program, which could affect the construc-
tion industry and the agency's services, New Progressive Party Sen. Larry Seilhamer
said Thursday. The senator revealed the information in a statement in which he stre-
ssed that it is up to Prasa Executive President Alberto Lázaro to explain what will end
up happening with the program, as companies that manage it, such as CH Caribbean,
Black & Veatch, Malcolm Pirnie and CSA Group, have been left without contracts.
"These massive cancellations represent a mortal blow to the crumbling construction
industry because it affects almost all projects. Preconstruction, which includes plann-
ing, permits and design, has been left with almost zero projects," Seilhamer said.


From News Is My Business:

he loss of Section 936 tax breaks, combined with overly indulgent local labor laws and
a federal policy that encourages people to stay on the dole rather than work, have all
contributed to Puerto Rico’s current fiscal nightmare. But only through drastic measu-
res that spur real, sustained growth can the island beat this crisis, said prominent econo-
mist Anne O. Krueger. In a speech at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, Kre-
uger warned that time was running out for a solution. “Without restoring growth, there
is no possibility of turning around the fiscal crisis. These must be addressed simultane-
ously,” said the former International Monetary Fund executive. “As we speak, the go-
vernment’s cash balances are critically low, and further delays will reduce the room
for maneuvering and the chance they can get out of this without further damage.”


From San Juan Daily Star:

Even though most of the San Juan metropolitan area is under a water rationing plan
due to a severe drought, the Health Department has reiterated that businesses must
have their sanitary services open to customers. Visits to several businesses by a local
TV news crew showed that bathroom facilities were in fact closed, with signs posted
on the bathroom doors saying “Bathroom closed due to the water rationing plan.” The-
se establishments are breaking the Health Department’s Environmental Health Division
regulations. From fast-food outlets and shopping malls to restaurants and clothing stores,
all businesses must have at least one bathroom operating that is clean and with a water
supply to enable patrons to flush the toilet and wash their hands. “If a business doesn’t
have a reserve of potable water, then it can’t open, especially a food establishment,”
Health Department Environmental Health Division Director Carlos Carrazo said.

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