Government and social oppression in Puerto Rico


During this century we have been aware of the oppression that is lived in Puerto Rico by the state. It has created a subculture within the country made by individuals who fight against the interests of the state and seek for the welfare of the population in general. This culture was born in the 70’s and 80’s within the University of Puerto Rico where the X generation fund this culture. From here come the leaders of the Puerto Rican National Liberation Forces (FNL), the division of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, the emergence of unions and unions of workers, among many other. Since the birth of this subculture much has been achieved but at a very high price.

In the 70’s in Puerto Rico as part of the United States and following the war in Vietnam military service was mandatory. That is where, as in the rest of the US, the clashes between civilians and the state begin to culminate the war. Because of this is born the culture of demonstrations in Puerto Rico and its counterpart, oppressive culture. Then, in the 1980s, with the emergence of the FNL and the Macheteros, the oppressive culture in Puerto Rico was boosted and accepted by the citizens. With the attacks and attacks of the FLN in the United States and the Macheteros in Puerto Rico the FBI in conjunction with the Police of Puerto Rico undertook the project of the Folders. This project, which is still in force, is an effort to recognize, categorize and identify protesters and possible ‘threats to the state’. With the emergence of new generations participate in the subculture of demonstrators we see the oppressive culture increase.

With the new technologies and the globalization of the ‘millennial’ generation, different generations have been able to integrate into the subculture of demonstrators paying the price of oppression. Many with globalization have become liberals, this has allowed them to generate a new series of changes in the country. Faced with these new generations taking control of the subculture, the state and several citizens have felt threatened by them. It is here that the state with the backing of a part of the population has increased social and political pressure in these generations. Those who support the state in repressing protesters and conforming to everything are called ‘conformists’. These conformists have given the state the green light to attack and repress anyone who fights for their rights or goes against what the state dictates. We have seen this much in the confrontations between university students and uniformed men. The roots of this subculture date back to the invasion of Columbus to the Americas.

As part of Columbus expeditions to the Americas, his main objective was the indoctrination of the “savages.” Then with the Feudal systems and the birth of the “criollo” we have been subjugated to a metropolis that make us fall asleep and insists that we submit to the system, first the Spaniards and now the Americans. Contrary to the dictates of American history taught in our schools, the Puerto Rican did not receive US military occupation with open arms. There was much opposition and indignation. As a result of this was founded in 1922 the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico who were an anti-imperialist organization. In 1937 during the commemoration of the abolition of slavery by the past Spanish government and in protests by the imprisonment of Pedro Albizu Campos the American colonial police open fire against the demonstrators assassinating in cold blood 19 people that day. Historical fact that has been erased from national history as an effort to keep the citizens faithful. The same thing happened in 1978 in “Cerro Maravilla” where the Puerto Rican Police murdered two young pro-independence citizens in a raid that was planned by members of the high government. Also in 1970 when the Police of Puerto Rico entered the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras campus and assassinated Antonia Martínez Lagares. Proof of police repression and prosecution of protesters. Although in recent times the persecutions have not been so violent if there have been disturbing incidents.

As recently as in May, two UPR student leaders were kidnap by police officers who did not carry their plates and used civilian vehicles to take these students. Students who remained more than 5 hours missing and then appeared in a barracks nearby where the abduction took place. On May 1, police arrived in the immediate vicinity of the gold mile where a peaceful protest was taking place firing tear gas and pepper spray, injuring photojournalists and demonstrators, a fact that occurred long before the  Popular Bank’s windows were broken. The countrys main stream media kept this incidents has secrets and tried to manipulate what was really happening that day. That same day at the end of the protest the police closed all the train stations and threw tear gas wounding children and old people who waited to use the public transport while the press cameras of the country recorded the acts of vandalism in the mile of gold. In 2010 during a demonstration at the Capitol, former Governor Luis Fortuño ordered the Puerto Rican Police to attack the demonstrators in order to disperse them while they demonstrated peacefully at the north entrance of this governmental complex. Now with the austerity measures being taken by the current governor we are seeing how different sectors of the country are joining the battle of this subculture.

In the last century, the subculture created by the students of the University of Puerto Rico has united with unions of public servants and a large part of the population that is tired of the abuses of an oppressive and incompetent government. This new integration and expansion of the subculture we saw on May 1 of this year where over 500,000 people gathered in the streets to demonstrate their outrage at the government. The struggle has not culminated, this subculture continues to fight against government and citizen incompetence where conformists attack and repudiate protesters while applauding those who trample them. With the approval of Law 40 by Governor Ricardo Rossello in Peñuelas, a battle of the people against the government and private industry is being waged. Thanks to this law AES Puerto Rico Ldt. is poisoning us with its toxic ashes putting the health of the whole country at an imminent risk for the incompetence and lack of morale of the current government. Both the EPA and the Puerto Rico Department of Health have established that these ashes are highly toxic and that there is some risk of contaminating our groundwater. But thanks to House Bill 743 passed into law this year, every form of protest is violated by violating constitutional rights by triggering mass arrests in protest zones. This is our oppressive culture instilled in society by the government and backed by a sector of the country. Although we live in a democratic country it feels like a dictatorship where democracy is only a smokescreen to keep us subjugated to a system that no longer works …

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