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Monday, August 24, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For August 24, 2015


The murder total for 2015 went up to 357 this weekend, as six killings
were reported across the island, which is 88 murders less than at this
time last year. The first murder happened in Hato Rey's Manuel A. Pe-
rez housing project, where Edwin Giovanni Vázquez Feliciano, 26, was
shot to death in front of a store on Friday night. On Saturday, 34-year-
old business owner Nolis Mercedes de la Paula was chased and shot to
death on road  PR-988 in Luquillo by presumed robbers. Juan José Nú-
ñez Cotto, 35, was killed around 2:00 AM on Saturday behind a Gulf
gas station in Santurce. Nearly $600 in cash and a bag with white pow-
der residue where found in his car.

Another murder occured near the flea market in Salinas, where 68-year-
old Wilfredo García Feliciano was apparently shot, and six shell casings
were recovered at the scene. The weekend's fifth murder occured at 12:30
AM on Sunday, as Luis Rafael Cruz Mejías was killed by intruders in his
 house. The most recent murder was registered Sunday afternoon in the
Las Monjas neighborhood of San Juan, but the victim has not yet been


Tropical Storm Danny weakened into a tropical depression overnight, with
maximum sustained winds decreasing to 35 mph. The system ismoving to
the west at 12 mph, and as of 8:00 AM was located at 15.9N 61.5W, about
20 miles south of the island of Guadeloupe. Saba and St. Eustatius are still
under a Tropical Storm Warning, but all other tropical storm watches and
warnings have been discontinued. Danny is expected to pass over 60 miles
south of Ponce, Puerto Rico tomorrow morning, and may dump 2-4 inches
of rain over parts of the island. Danny will likely weaken even further by
then, and break up over the western Caribbean.


From Caribbean Business:

Forty organizations representing various Puerto Rico sectors joined the
Junta de Voluntades group Saturday to ask the U.S. government to repeal
the cabotage laws. "We have formed an organization to continue to work
on this claim, which we will present to the federal government and the
entire world," said Mark Anthony Bimbela, president of the Bar Associa-
tion, where the meeting took place. Bimbela acknowledged that the group
comprises people who have different ideologies but who are in agreement
on the issue of cabotage laws. The petition by political, business, academic,
religious, civil and worker unions, as well as industry organizations, forma-
lly requests the federal government to repeal the application  of Section 27
of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly referred to as the Jones
Act, on Puerto Rico.


Puerto Rico's unemployment rate fell to 11.9 percent in July, down 0.70 
percent from the previous month, the Labor Department said. The unem-
ployment rate has fallen by 1.8 percent since July 2014, the department 
said in a statement. The island's labor force participation rate was at 39.5 
percent last month, down 0.20 percent from June and 0.10 percent relati-
ve to July 2014.

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