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Monday, March 6, 2017

Puerto Rico News Digest For March 6, 2017


NINE PEOPLE MURDERED OVER WEEKEND

















As reported by El Nuevo Dia, nine people were murdered across Puerto Rico this
past weekend, starting shortly after midnight on Friday in Maunabo, where Pedro
Alexis León Amaro, age 25, was killed by three individuals who attempted to steal
his car as he arrived at his home. Then, at 4:10 AM on Friday, police found the body
of  23-year old Javier E. Torres Torres in front of a building in the April Garden hou-
sing project of Las Piedras. The body had been riddled with bullets. Also on Friday,
shortly past noon, a 911 call alerted authorities to a burnt out vehicle on Road 155
in Vega Baja, which had two charred bodies in the trunk. The bodies have yet to be
identified.

Early on Saturday morning, a shootout in Isla Verde, Carolina, preceded the finding
of the bodies of two dead men, Rafael Albandoz Colón and José R. Sanjurjo Rivera.
Both were inside a 2008 Toyota Tundra. Several other people were injured in the
shootout. Early on Sunday morning, a citizen in the town of Florida reported to po-
lice a dead  body lying on the pavement of Road 140 in the Perol disctrict of town.
The unidentified victim was partially burnt and had his or her hands tied behind the
back. Later that morning, the body of an unidentified man who had apparently been
shot to death was found on Road PR-198 in Humacao. The victim may have been 20
to 25 years old. The weekend's carnage brings Puerto Rico's murder total for the year
so far to 119, one less than the 120 reported at this time in 2016.


GOVERNOR RAISES PUBLIC SECTOR MINIMUM WAGE


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares signed an executive order Thursday to increase
the minimum wage in the public sector and in government construction contracts.
The mandate dictates that by July 1, the minimum wage of employees of central
government agencies will increase from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour. The order also es-
tablishes that any government contractor in the construction industry will have to
issue a certification that the minimum wage of its employees is equal with that of
employees of the Puerto Rico government. The minimum wage will also rise from
$7.25 to $8.25 in the government contractor sector..."



ROSSELLO WANTS GUAYNABO MAYOR INVESTIGATED


From Caribbean Business:

"In response to the allegations of a sexual harassment suit against Guaynabo ma-
yor Héctor O’Neill, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló requested the Justice Department on
Sunday to begin an investigation to clarify the veracity of the accusations. In an
official release, the governor requested Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez to pro-
ceed with the investigation on the alleged acts of laboral harassment, the alleged
$300,000 settlement among the involved parties, and the origin of the funds used
by the mayor to pay the monetary transaction..."


PR COMPANY BIDS TO BUILD TRUMP'S BORDER WALL


From Telesur:

"On Friday, Puerto Rico-based company, San Diego Project Management PCS, ap-
plied to build the wall in response to government calls for proposals. The company
– headquartered in Luquillo, east of San Juan, Puerto Rico – is competing with do-
zens of other construction and engineering firms to win the contract for the wall,
according to Puerto Rican media outlet Primera Hora. Patrick Balcazar, head and
founder of San Diego Project Management PCS, confirmed that his company did
indeed submit a proposal to compete for the contract for the wall, which has been
estimated to cost between  US$10 and $22 billion..."


PLANNING BOARD: PR GDP IS DOWN 1.1%


From News Is My Business:

"The Puerto Rico Planning Board revised the island’s macroeconomic data for the
end of fiscal 2016, reflecting a decrease in the Gross Domestic Product of 1.1 per-
cent. In addition, agency President María del C. Gordillo said the review of the GDP
at constant prices for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 fell 1.8 percent and 0.7 percent res-
pectively. “These data represent the behavior of the economy of Puerto Rico and give
 us a clear picture of where our economy is, which helps the government and private
sector in making its determinations,” she said..."


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