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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest for August 13, 2015


As a long drought continues to punish Puerto Rico, the Carraízo water
reservoir -- which serves much of the San Juan metro area -- has dropped
26 centimeters today, leaving it  3.34 meters away from being rendered as
inoperable. The La Plata reservoir went down 11 centimeters since yester-
day. Carraízo water customers are currently being subjected to three-day
water rationing due to the low levels. Levels for all major reservoirs are
shown in the above graph. Carraízo is on the far left.


From The San Juan Daily Star:

Government lawyers are analyzing all the possible scenarios to determine
which debt can be left unpaid and which can not. The recent default on a
$58 million debt of the Public Finance Corporation on Aug. 1 was actually
a calculated move because the government knows that bondholders had li-
ttle legal recourse because it is a moral obligation that depends upon a leg-
islative appropriation, sources said. Regarding other types of debt, bond-
holders can expect a recovery rate between 35 to 65% on a series of diffe-
rent bonds traded by Puerto Rico in the event of a default, according to in-
formation compiled by Bloomberg. The publication reported on data conta-
ining the most recent trading prices of bonds that aren’t insured against


From Caribbean Business:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 municipali-
tiesin Puerto Rico as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and lo-
sses caused by a recent drought. Those municipalities are Arroyo, Fajardo,
Patillas, Canovanas, Las Piedras, Río Grande, Carolina, Luquillo, Trujillo
Alto, Cayey, Maunabo, Yabucoa and Cidra. Farmers and ranchers in the fo-
llowing municipalities in Puerto Rico also qualify for natural disaster assis-
tance because their municipalities are contiguous. Those municipalities are
Aguas Buenas, Comerio, Loiza, Aibonito, Guayama, Naguabo, Barranquitas,
Gurabo, Salinas, Caguas, Humacao, San Juan, Ceiba, Juncos and San Loren-


From US News & World Report:

More than 60 gay couples are preparing to exchange vows at a mass wedding
in Puerto Rico, celebrating a U.S. Supreme Court ruling affecting the socia-
lly conservative U.S. territory, organizers said Wednesday.Most of the cou-
ples are Puerto Ricans, but others from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba
and Venezuela also are participating in the event scheduled for Sunday in
San Juan's colonial district. "This is a historic event for all of Puerto Rico,"
said organizer Ada Conde, an attorney who had filed a federal lawsuit seek-
ing to have her gay marriage recognized in the U.S. territory prior to the Su-
preme Court decision. "This is not a show. This is not a parade. This is a so-
lemn event to celebrate the fruit of our sacrifice." Conde said she anticipated
protests and noted that police officers would be posted at the ceremony.

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