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Monday, March 14, 2016

Puerto Rico News Digest For March 14, 2016


Nine people were murdered over this past weekend across Puerto Rico,
with four of the crimes occurring in the Ponce area. Carlos Joel Rodríguez,
age 21, was shot to death at around 12:34 on Sunday morning in Ponce. Ro-
dríguez lived in the Pedro J. Rosaly housing project. As it happened, two
men, Marcel Jonel Cosme Torres and Kendall Cordero Rentas, were both
shot to death at around 4:45 this morning at the nearby Happy Liquor Sto-
re, as reported by El Nuevo Dia. Cosme also lived at the Rosaly housing
project. Ponce's fourth murder for the weekend was that of José Antonio
Vargas, age 42, whose bullet-riddled body was found in the Vistamar sec-
tor of El Tuque.

In Corozal, 29 year old José Cruz Cruz was shot to death during a dispute
with an individual at a business late Sunday night. In Isabela, 24 year old
Jailián Varela Colón was shot and died in front of a Church's Chicken at the
Plaza Isabela mall on Sunday. At 3:40 AM on Saturday, Alex Manuel Báez
Rodríguez was shot to death in Puerto Nuevo, while an unidentified man
was executed at around 8:40 PM on Saturday at the Las Dalias housing pro-
ject in Río Piedras. Meanwhile, 42 year old  Miguel González Figueroa was
shot and killed as he rode a horse in the town of Florida. The weekend's first
killing was that of José Torre Ruiz, age 45, who was allegedly shot by his ne-
phew Kevin Mercado Torres on Friday night in a residence in Guánica. The
weekend's bloodshed brings the number of murders in Puerto Rico so far in
2016 to 125, 19 more than at this time last year.


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"The Puerto Rico Teachers Federation on Thursday warned that the Teachers
Retirement System could be on the brink of collapse, leaving thousands of re-
tired educators in “misery while leaving active teachers in uncertainty.” “It has
been alleged that the [Teacher’s] Retirement System could collapse by 2017,”
Teachers Federation President Mercedes Martínez said...Among the situation
affecting the Teacher’s Retirement Systems, according to the union, are among
others: Law 160 of 2013, which was “the most recent effort to destroy the exis-
tence of the retirement system as we know it,” and the proposed Fiscal Control
Board, which will have “the clear intention of cutting the pensions of already
retired educators and denying retirement to active teachers, just as happened
in Detroit...”


From Caribbean Business:

"Following the news about hospitals having their electricity cut due to debts
to the Electric Power Authority, Dr. Ricardo Rosselló, gubernatorial candidate
for the New Progressive Party, has proposed a government credit exchange in
which, “if a supplier does not receive payment [by the government] within 60
days, it can use the debt as payment at another agency.” The candidate explai-
ned that “in the case of hospitals…the truth is these have not paid because the
central government has not paid them. Under my proposal, the services paid to
the hospital can be used to pay the power bill...”


"A delegation of five Puerto Rican startups are participating technological 
innovation event South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, Texas 
this week, supported by Puerto Rico Trade and Export and the Small Business 
Administration. Trade and Export Executive Director Francisco Chévere the 
group will have the opportunity to present their business ideas to the audience
of this renowned event in the Innovation Latin America category on Tuesday. 
The five local companies participating  are: Campodata Inc, Celero Health So-
lutions, Digital Media Creations, Space Rhino Games and Tix.By..."

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