Timeline Puerto Rico
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CIA Factbook: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/rq.html
Puerto Rico.com: http://www.puertorico.com/
The island, a US territory, is 110 by 35
miles in size, 3,427 sq. miles in area, a little smaller than
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.A3)(SFC, 11/14/98, p.A6)(SFEC, 2/13/00,
The Tibes Indians date back to about this time. A
flooding river exposed an ancient Tibes burial ground in 1977 and it
became the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Park.
(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.T5)
700AD Ingeri and pre-Taino
plazas date to this time.
(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.T5)
1493 Nov 19, Christopher
Columbus discovered Puerto Rico on his 2nd voyage. Juan Ponce
de Leon was a member of Columbus’ crew.
(HT, 4/97, p.28)(MC, 11/19/01)
1508 Aug 12, Ponce de Leon
arrived and conquered the island of Boriquen (Puerto Rico). Spain
had appointed him to colonize Puerto Rico. He explored Puerto Rico
and Spanish ships under his command began to capture Bahamanian
Tainos to work as slaves on Hispaniola. His settlement at Caparra, 2
miles south of San Juan Bay, was plagued by Taino Indians and
cannibalistic Carib Indians.
(NH, 10/96, p.23)(SC,
1509-1512 Ponce de Leon served as governor of
1512 The original San Juan
Cathedral was constructed. [see 1549]
(SFCM, 3/11/01, p.82)
1521 In Puerto Rico the Caparra
colony founded by Spanish conquistadores relocated to a barrier
island at the entrance of San Juan Bay.
(HT, 4/97, p.28)(TL-MB, p.12)
1523 A Dominican Convent was
built in San Juan.
(SFC, 3/10/01, p.83)
1533 The governor's mansion as
La Fortaleza was built.
(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.T1)
1537 The Spanish built La
Fortaleza overlooking the bay on the southwestern edge of San Juan.
(HT, 4/97, p.29)
1538 The watchtower El Morro
(HT, 4/97, p.30)
1539 The Castillo de San Felipe
del Morro (El Morro Fortress) was begun. [2nd source says 1533]
(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.T4)(SFCM, 3/11/01, p.82)
1549 The 1512 San Juan
Cathedral was rebuilt.
(SFCM, 3/11/01, p.82)
1575 Sep 21, A major hurricane
hit Puerto Rico on the feast day of St. Matthew and became known as
the San Mateo hurricane.
(SSFC, 8/6/06, Par p.24)
1585 An additional hornwork was
added to El Morro to guard the land approaches to the fort.
(HT, 4/97, p.30)
1595 Queen Elizabeth sent Sir
Francis Drake to capture treasure from a wrecked Spanish galleon
stored at La Forteleza. Drake failed and returned to Panama.
(HT, 4/97, p.30)
1598 Sir George Clifford, the
third Earl of Cumberland, led an attack on Puerto Rico. He landed
east of San Juan at Boqueron Inlet and attacked. The English
prevailed and plundered San Juan but their food spoiled and 400 died
of dysentery. The survivors burned San Juan and sailed away.
(HT, 4/97, p.30)
1599 Spain sent 400 soldiers,
46 cannon and a new governor, Alonso de Mercado, to rebuild San
(HT, 4/97, p.31)
1625 Sep 24, Dutch Gen’l.
Bowdoin Hendrik and his fleet of 17 ships sailed into San Juan,
Puerto Rico, and attacked El Morro. He held the garrison under siege
for 3 weeks and then set the town to flames. This infuriated the
Spanish who attacked and sent the Dutch fleeing.
(HT, 4/97, p.31-33)(MC, 9/24/01)
1639 The San Juan Gate was
built as the entry to San Juan.
(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.T1)
1765 The Spanish Crown hired
Irishmen Col. Thomas O’Daly and Field Marshall Alexander O’Reilly to
upgrade the defenses of all of Spain’s Caribbean ports. They
expanded and improved El Morro and San Cristobal.
(HT, 4/97, p.33)
1770 Apr, Cockfighting in
Puerto Rico, introduced by Spain in the 16th century, was officially
recognized for the first time.
1780 Guillaume Raynal, a French
historian, proclaimed Puerto Rico to be “in proportion to its size
the very best island in the New World.”
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.A3)
1797 Apr, A British armada of
68 vessels and 7,000 men under Scotsman Sir Ralph Abercromby
attacked San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Spanish defenses held. A
procession of women made up to look like soldiers caused the siege
to be called off. An annual parade later commemorated this event.
(HT, 4/97, p.34)(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.T1)
1804 Sep 21, Another major
hurricane hit Puerto Rico on the feast day of St. Matthew and became
known as the San Mateo II hurricane [see 1575].
(SSFC, 8/6/06, Par p.24)
1857 Jul 27, Jose Celso
Barbosa, Puerto Rican statesman and humanitarian, was born in
1868 Sep 23, Grito de Lares
proclaimed Puerto Rico's independence. It was crushed by Spain.
1873 Mar 22, Slavery was
abolished in Puerto Rico.
1897 Nov 25, Spain granted
Puerto Rico autonomy.
1898 May 12, A US fleet under
Admiral William T. Sampson attacked El Morro and San Cristobal.
After 2 hours of shelling the fleet headed for Cuba.
(HT, 4/97, p.30)
1898 Jul 25, US Gen’l. Nelson
A. Miles (1839-1925) landed troops at Guanica on the southern coast
of Puerto Rico. Spain and the US came to terms at the Treaty of
Paris and the US acquired Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico became a US
territory. He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1901. He retired
from the army in 1903. His books include Personal Recollections and
Observations (1896) and Serving the Republic (1911).
(HT, 4/97, p.65)(SFC, 3/26/97,
1898 Aug 12, Fighting in the
Spanish-American War came to an end. The peace protocol ending the
Spanish-American War was signed Dec 10 after three months and 22
days of hostilities. 460 US soldiers died in battle. The US paid
Spain $20 million to vacate Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the
Philippines. Over the next 3 years US casualties in the Philippines
war totaled over 4,000.
(AP, 8/12/97)(WSJ, 2/23/98, p.A20)(HN,
8/12/00)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.D1)(WSJ, 7/2/03, p.B1)
1898 Oct 18, The American flag
was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished
control of the island to the US.
1898 Dec 10, The United States
and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Spanish-American
War. This ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam to the United
States. The US Senate ratified the treaty February 6, 1899. The US
military governed Puerto Rico from October 1898 until May 1900, when
the US Congress instituted a civil government. The civil government
underwent many changes until a Constitutional Assembly formed in
1950 and established a Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which was
proclaimed on July 25, 1952. [see Aug 12]
(AP, 12/10/97)(HN, 12/10/98)(HNQ, 7/28/01)
1898 Cockfighting in Puerto
Rico was banned after the US invaded the island.
1900 Mar 19, President McKinley
asserted the need for free trade with Puerto Rico.
1900 May, The U.S. Congress
instituted a civil government.
1904 Jan 4, The US Supreme
Court, in Gonzalez v. Williams, ruled that Puerto Ricans were not
aliens and could enter the US freely; however, the court stopped
short of declaring them US citizens.
1904 Feb 17, Luis A. Fere
(d.2003), gov. of Puerto Rico (1969-1972), was born in Ponce.
(SFC, 10/22/03, p.A22)
1906 Nov 9, President Theodore
Roosevelt left Washington D.C. for a 17 day trip to Panama and
Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official visit
outside of the U.S.
1906 Nov 21, In San Juan,
President Theodore Roosevelt pledged citizenship for Puerto Rican
1917 Mar 2, President Woodrow
Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act giving Puerto Ricans US
citizenship. The Jones Act separated the Executive, Judicial, and
Legislative branches of Puerto Rican government, provided civil
rights to the individual, and created a locally elected bicameral
legislature. The two houses were a Senate consisting of 19 members
and a 39-member House of Representatives. However, the Governor and
the President of the US had the power to veto any law passed by the
legislature. Also, the US Congress had the power to stop any action
taken by the legislature in Puerto Rico.
1927 In Puerto Rico’s last
execution farm worker Pascual Ramos was hanged for beheading his
boss with a machete. Puerto Rico’s death penalty was outlawed in
1929 Puerto Rico outlawed
capital punishment. In 2005 it was among 12 US states and the
District of Columbia that do not allow the death penalty.
1932 May 17, Congress changed
the name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico".
1933 Aug, The Puerto Rico
legislature forced the governor to reinstate cockfighting, which had
been banned, by threatening to block the budget. It won official
status and became known as the "gentleman's sport" because of its
honor-based betting system in which men yell bets at each other and
later pay them.
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.A3)(AP, 7/23/12)
1937 Mar 21, Ponce massacre:
police killed 19 at a Puerto Rican Nationalist parade.
1938 Local baseball began here.
Puerto Rico is just east of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean
Sea. Its capital is San Juan.
(Hem., Dec. '95, p.105)
1941 US Congress established
two thirds of the island of Vieques as a military training ground.
Residents were given 24 hours to leave their homes.
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A3)
1945 Sep 8, Jose Feliciano,
blind singer, was born in Lares, Puerto Rico.
1947 Abelardo Diaz Alfaro
published his short story collection "Terrazo."
(SFC, 7/23/99, p.D6)
1948 Puerto Rico gained the
right to choose its own governor and elected Munoz Marin. He held
office until 1965. Luis Munoz Marin, ended the practice of teaching
all high school subjects in English. From 1900 to 1948 all high
school subjects had been taught in English.
(SFC, 3/26/97, p.C3)(AFP, 5/9/12)
1950 Jul 3, US Pres. Truman
signed public law 600. It provided federal statutory authorization
for the people of Puerto Rico to write their own constitution.
1950 Nov 1, Two members of a
Puerto Rican nationalist movement, Oscar Collazo and Griselio
Torresola, tried to force their way into Blair House in Washington
to assassinate President Truman. The attempt failed, and one of the
pair Griselio Torresola, was shot dead. On July 24, 1952, Truman
commuted Collazo’s death sentence to life imprisonment, on the same
day he signed an act enlarging the self-government of Puerto Rico.
In 2005 Stephen Hunter authored “American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill
(AP, 11/1/97)(HN, 11/1/98)(HNQ, 1/24/02)(WSJ,
1951 In Puerto Rico Río
Piedras, a suburb of San Juan, merged with San Juan. It is an
industrial and agricultural trading center. The Univ. of Puerto Rico
Medical Sciences campus is located there.
1952 Mar 3, Puerto Rico
approved its 1st self written constitution.
1952 Jul 24, Pres. Truman
commuted Oscar Collazo’s death sentence to life imprisonment, on the
same day he signed an act enlarging the self-government of Puerto
Rico. [See Nov 1, 1950]
(AP, 11/1/97)(HN, 11/1/98)(HNQ, 1/24/02)
1952 Jul 25, Puerto Rico became
a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
1954 Mar 1, Puerto Rican
nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the U.S. House of
Representatives, wounding five congressmen. In 1998 the
granddaughter of one of the nationalists published a family memoir.
Lolita Lebron (1919-2010), Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores and
Andres Figueroa Cordero all received lengthy prison sentences.
President Jimmy Carter granted them clemency in 1979 and they were
(WUD, 1994, p.1685)(AP, 3/1/98)(NPR, 2/28/98)(AP,
1959 Hunter Thompson spent time
working in San Juan as a journalist and based his novel "The Rum
Diary," published in 1998, on the experience. Plans for a film based
on the book developed in 2003.
(SFC, 11/7/03, p.D11)
1965-1969 Roberto Sanchez Vilella (1913-1997)
became the 2nd governor.
(SFC, 3/26/97, p.C3)
1967 Luis A. Ferrre founded the
pro-statehood New Progressive Party.
(SFC, 10/22/03, p.A22)
1967 A non-binding plebiscite
to determine the future status of Puerto Rico was not conclusive.
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.A3)
1969 Luis A. Ferrre became
governor of Puerto Rico and served to 1972.
(SFC, 10/22/03, p.A22)
1972 Rafael Hernandez Colon, a
pro-commonwealth candidate, became governor of Puerto Rico.
(SFC, 10/22/03, p.A22)
1973 Oct 22, Pablo Casals (96),
Spanish cellist, conductor and composer died in Rio Piedras, Puerto
1974-1983 A series of bomb attacks and robberies
in the US by members of the FALN left 6 people dead and scores
injured. 16 separatists who were later arrested for the attacks were
granted clemency by Pres. Clinton in 1999.
(USAT, 9/17/99, p.1A)
1975 Jan 24, In New York City,
the FALN, a militant group seeking independence for Puerto Rico,
sets off a bomb in Fraunces Tavern. Four people were killed and 53
(NYT, 2/7/75, p.1)
1975 The US Navy left the
island of Culebra. Sings of unexploded ordnance still lingered in
(SFC, 6/15/01, p.D3)
1976 Section 936 provided US
firms operating in Puerto Rico with tax-free income. It helped to
stimulate industrialization and infrastructure development on the
island. However it skewed investment towards technologies that were
too advanced for Puerto Rico’s stage of development. On August 20,
1996 the U.S. Congress repealed Section 936 of the US Internal
Revenue Code, with a clause that retains its benefit for ten years
of existing corporations. Section 30A was created to substitute
1978 Puerto Rico sued the US
Navy for economic damages due to military testing on the island of
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A3)
1979 Apr 28, Carlos Muniz
Varela, a Cuban travel agent and an activist for Puerto Rico's
independence, was killed in Puerto Rico.
1979 Sep 10, Four Puerto Rican
nationalists imprisoned for a 1954 attack on the House of
Representatives and a 1950 attempt on the life of President Truman
were granted clemency by President Carter.
1980 Apr 5, Eleven Puerto Rican
FALN members were arrested for attempting to rob an armored truck at
Northwestern University; three were linked to the raid on the
Carter-Mondale campaign headquarters. Several of those arrested were
granted clemency in 1999.
(WSJ, 9/14/99, p.A22)
1982 Feb 28, The FALN, a Puerto
Rican Nationalist Group, bombed Wall Street.
1983 Sep 12, Filiberto Ojeda
Rios (d.2005), a Puerto Rican nationalist leader, was involved in
the robbery of a Connecticut armored truck. It was considered an act
of domestic terrorism because the money was used to fund activities
by the Puerto Rican nationalist Macheteros, or Cane Cutters. Only
about $80,000 of the $7 million was recovered. In 2005 Rios was shot
and killed by FBI agents in Puerto Rico. In 2008 Avelino Gonzalez
Claudio (65), a Puerto Rican militant suspected in the Connecticut
robbery, was arrested in Puerto Rico, where he lived quietly under
an assumed name. In 2011 FBI agents arrested Norberto Gonzalez
Claudio, one of two remaining fugitives from the robbery.
9/25/05)(AP, 2/8/08)(SFC, 5/11/11, p.A2)
1984 Oct 31, The Puerto Rican
tanker San Francisco exploded spilling 2 million gallons of oil as
the ship caught fire.
1985 Oct 7, In Ponce, Puerto
Rico, a mudslide followed Tropical Storm Isabel and killed at least
129 people in the island's worst disaster this century.
1986 Dec 31, A fire at the
Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 97 and injured
140 people. (Three hotel workers later pleaded guilty to charges in
connection with the blaze.)
1989 Sep 18, Hurricane Hugo
reached Puerto Rico, causing extensive damage as it continued to
barrel toward the U.S. mainland.
1991 Apr 7, In Puerto Rico 3
prisoners escaped from the Rio Piedras State Penitentiary in a
hijacked helicopter with the help of accomplices. Two were
recaptured, while a third remained at large.
1991 Puerto Rico Gov. Rafael
Hernandez Colon declared Spanish the island's sole official
language. The law was repealed a couple of years later by Gov. Pedro
Rosello, whose first official act was to make both English and
Spanish the official languages.
1991 Russian sculptor Zurab
Tsereteli built a colossal statue of Christopher Columbus, titled
"Birth of a New World," to commemorate the 500th anniversary of
Columbus' 1492 arrival in the Western Hemisphere. Several US cities
including New York, Miami and Baltimore refused to accept it for
reasons ranging from cost to appearance. Puerto Rico accepted the
statue as a gift in 1998, using $2.4 million in public funds to
bring it to the island after a former mayor envisioned it as the
main attraction for Catano, a seaside suburb of San Juan. But
officials said it would block airplane flight paths while residents
protested plans to demolish homes to make room for it. In 2008 it
was placed in storage in Mayaguez. In 2011 San Juan Mayor Jorge
Santini said he would consider setting up the statue somewhere in
the island's capital.
1992 Oct 12, Arecibo radio
telescope in Puerto Rico began a microwave search for occupied
1992 In Puerto Rico two
toddlers, ages 2 and 3, were killed. The mother of Eliezer Marquez
Navedo (17) was convicted. She was sentenced to 26 years in prison
but paroled for good behavior after seven. In 2009 Eliezer Marquez
Navedo was charged with the murder of an American tourist.
1993 A 2nd non-binding
plebiscite to determine the future status of Puerto Rico was not
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.A3)
1993 The US Navy dropped 24
bombs of napalm on a target practice area on the island of Vieques.
After years of denial the Navy admitted the drops in 1999.
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A3)
1994 Sep 7, U.S. Marines began
training on a Puerto Rican island amid talk in Washington of a
U.S.-led intervention in Haiti.
1994 In Puerto Rico the Federal
Death Penalty Act broadened the range of crimes punishable by death.
1994 In Puerto Rico a record
995 people were killed.
1996 Sep 10, Hurricane Hortense
pounded Puerto Rico, causing at least 21 deaths and destroying
thousands of homes.
1996 Nov, The 5-story Hemberto
Vidal building exploded and 20 people were killed in downtown San
(SFC, 11/22/96, p.A3)
1998 Feb 11, Hector Acosta
Martinez and Joel Rivera Alejandro kidnapped Hernandez Diaz and
demanding a $1 million ransom from his family. When his family
alerted police, prosecutors say the men killed him, hacked off his
body parts and dumped them on a roadside. In 2003 a federal jury
acquitted the 2 men.
1998 Feb 12, NASA planned a
rocket launch from Tortuguero base in Puerto Rico. 10 more rockets
were planned for launch over the next 30 days.
(SFC, 2/2/98, p.A3)
1998 Mar 4, The US House
approved a special referendum in Puerto Rico that would allow voters
to choose 1 of 3 options: continued commonwealth status, statehood
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A5)
1998 Jun 18, Fearing loss of
their jobs 6,400 workers of Telefonica went on strike and began
cutting telephone cables.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.A2)(SFC, 6/30/98, p.A3)
1998 Jun 24, Gov. Pedro
Rossello signed a law completed the $1.9 billion sale of Telefonica
to a US consortium led by GTE.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.A2)
1998 Jun 25, Protestors planted
bombs, smashed bank machines and burned telephone cables in reaction
to the privatization of the phone company.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.A2)
1998 Jun 28, The Greater
Committee of Labor Organizations voted for a work stoppage over the
sale of the state phone company.
(SFC, 6/30/98, p.A3)
1998 Jul 7, A general 2 day
strike was called against the sale of the phone company and the San
Juan Int’l. Airport was blocked for a short time.
(SFC, 7/8/98, p.A3)
1998 Jul 14, In Puerto Rico the
telephone union gave in after a 26-day strike and agreed to go back
(SFC, 7/15/98, p.A3)
1998 Jul 21, Puerto Rico
accepted a sweetened GTE-led bid for the government owned phone
system that included concessions to appease workers.
(WSJ, 7/22/98, p.A1)
1998 Jul 25, The governor
called for a December referendum on statehood.
(WSJ, 7/27/98, p.A1)
1998 Aug 13, Puerto Rico
approved a Dec. 13 referendum for statehood.
(SFC, 8/14/98, p.A3)
1998 Sep 15-Oct 1, Hurricane
Georges caused 602 deaths in the Caribbean and four in the United
States. The storm hit the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto
Rico, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and British
and U.S. Virgin Islands before striking Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Florida.
1998 Sep 21, Hurricane Georges
threatened the islands of the Caribbean. The storm hit Puerto Rico
and killed at least 5 people as winds reached 130 mph. One woman was
killed on St. Kitts.
(SFC, 9/20/98, p.A13)(SFC, 9/22/98, p.A1)
1998 Sep 22, Hurricane Georges
hit the Dominican Republic and at least 12 people were killed. Three
people were killed in St. Kitts, 2 in Antigua and 4 in Puerto Rico.
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.A10)
1998 Sep 24, The death toll
from Hurricane Georges reached 11.
(SFC, 9/25/98, p.A16)
1998 Dec 13, Voters rejected
statehood by a vote of 50.2% to 46.5%. The winning option was none
of the above, but interpreted as a decision to remain as
commonwealth, a US territory with local autonomy.
(SFC, 12/14/98, p.A4)
1998 Puerto Rico’s population
was about 3.7 million.
(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.T5)
1999 Apr 19, Two US Marine jets
in training dropped bombs over the island of Vieques and missed
their targets. One civilian, David Sanes Rodriguez, was killed and 4
people were injured.
(SFC, 4/20/99, p.A3)(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A3)
1999 Apr, Protestors began
occupying the US Navy range at Vieques following the death of David
(SFC, 5/4/00, p.A3)
1999 Jun, The US Navy conceded
that it had fired 263 uranium shells on the island of Vieques in
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A3)
1999 Jul 4, Anti US Navy
protests drew some 50,000 people.
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A3)
1999 Jul 22, Abelardo Diaz
Alfaro, short story writer, died at age 82.
(SFC, 7/23/99, p.D6)
1999 Aug 11, Pres. Clinton
offered conditional amnesty to imprisoned Puerto Rican militants
(FALN). The separatists were responsible for at least 150 bombings
over a 9-year period that killed 6 people and injured over 70.
(SFC, 9/8/99, p.A3)(WSJ, 9/14/99, p.A22)
1999 Sep 7, In NY twelve Puerto
Rican prisoners (FALN) agreed to accept Pres. Clinton's offer of
(SFC, 9/8/99, p.A3)
1999 Sep 10, Eleven Puerto
Rican nationalists (FALN) were freed under the clemency deal offered
by Pres. Clinton.
(SFC, 9/11/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 18, A US presidential
panel recommended that Navy gunnery on the Vieques Island of Puerto
Rico be reduced and abandoned in 5 years.
(WSJ, 10/19/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 19, Gov. Pedro
Rossello told a US congressional committee that live firing
exercises on Vieques could not be resumed.
(SFC, 10/20/99, p.A7)
1999 Nov, Drug trafficker Jose
Figueroa Agosto walked out of that Puerto Rican prison after
presenting guards with a forged release order. He had served only
four years of a 209-year sentence for killing a man suspected of
stealing a cocaine shipment. Within a month, he moved to the
Dominican Republic, where he was detained as part of a drug
investigation in 2001. He was released after two weeks; he used an
alias and authorities didn't know his true identity.
1999 Dec 3, Pres. Clinton
offered to reduce bombing practice on Vieques in the spring and use
only dummy bombs plus $40 million in economic incentives with phase
out in 5 years. Puerto Rico rejected the offer.
(SFC, 12/4/99, p.A3)
2000 Jan 31, The US persuaded
Puerto Rico to continue use of the Navy firing range off Vieques
Island with dummy bombs in exchange for $40 million. A vote by
islanders to approve live ammunition would bring Puerto Rico an
additional $50 million. A no vote would require clean up and a halt
to training by May 1, 2003.
(SFC, 2/1/00, p.A3)
2000 Mar 8, Near Puerto Rico at
least 10 people died when a boat carrying some 70 illegal immigrants
from the Dominican Republic capsized.
(SFC, 3/9/00, p.A12)
2000 May 1, In Puerto Rico 2 US
warships arrived off the coast of Vieques and some 50 protestors
braced for the arrival of federal agents.
(SFC, 5/2/00, p.A5)
2000 May 4, In Puerto Rico US
federal agents moved and arrested 216 protestors from the bombing
range on Vieques Island.
(SFC, 5/5/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 25, US Navy bombing in
Vieques resumed with nonexplosive dummy bombs after 37 demonstrators
were arrested. A fatal accident had prompted a yearlong occupation
(WSJ, 6/26/00, p.A1)(SFC, 6/28/00, p.A3)(AP,
2000 Aug 6, In San Juan, Puerto
Rico, thousands rallied to protest new US military exercises on
(SFC, 8/7/00, p.A3)
2000 Oct 13, A US federal
appeals court ruled that residents of Puerto Rico cannot vote in
presidential elections unless the island becomes a state or the US
Constitution is amended.
(SFC, 10/14/00, p.A4)
2000 Nov, In local elections
Sila Calderon (58), Popular Democratic Party, defeated Gov. Pedro
Rossello. Calderon opposed the US Navy bombing site on Vieques.
(SFC, 1/2/01, p.A4)
2000 Dec 23, Pres. Clinton
created a task force to study whether Puerto Rico should become a
state, an independent country or continue as a US commonwealth.
(SSFC, 12/24/00, p.A14)
2001 Mar 1, The Pentagon
suspended Navy bombing on Vieques.
(WSJ, 3/2/00, p.A1)
2001 Apr 26, A US federal judge
ruled that military exercises could resume on Vieques Island. Puerto
Ricans mobilized for mass demonstrations.
(SFC, 4/27/01, p.A2)
2001 Apr 27, The US Navy
resumed bombing exercises on Vieques Island where 14 protesters were
(SFC, 4/28/01, p.A3)
2001 May 11, Denise Quinones of
Puerto Rico won the Miss Universe contest held in Bayamon, Puerto
(SFC, 5/12/01, p.A2)
2001 Jun 14, Pres. Bush ordered
a stop to the Navy bombing exercises on Puerto Rico’s Vieques
(SFC, 6/14/01, p.A3)
2001 Jun 14, Pres. Bush ordered
a stop to the Navy bombing exercises on Puerto Rico’s Vieques
Island. Cleanup was estimated to cost hundreds of millions and take
decades. Bombing practice was set to stop by May, 2003.
(SFC, 6/14/01, p.A3)(SFC, 6/15/01, p.D3)(WSJ,
2001 Jun 18, The US Navy
dropped dummy bombs on Vieques island. A number of protesters were
arrested for trespassing.
(SFC, 6/19/01, p.A3)
2001 Jul 29, The residents of
Vieques island voted on stopping the practice bombing by the US
military. Opponents of the navy bombing gathered 68% of the vote.
(SSFC, 7/29/01, p.A9)(SFC, 7/30/01, p.A3)
2001 Aug 2, On Vieques, Puerto
Rico, the US Navy used tear gas and foam rubber projectiles to clear
protesters and journalists.
(SFC, 8/4/01, p.A3)
2002 Jan 2, A US federal judge
dismissed a lawsuit to stop the resumption of bombing exercises on
Vieques. The suit cited a 1972 federal Noise Control Act.
(SFC, 1/3/02, p.A5)
2002 Jan 23, 17 people were
charged in a corruption scandal that involved $4.3 million in
diverted federal funds.
(SFC, 1/24/02, p.A4)
2002 Aug 7, A U.S. Air Force
cargo plane crashed on a Puerto Rican mountaintop with at least 10
military personnel on board, and all were feared dead.
2002 Sep 4, In Puerto Rico US
Navy security officers fired tear gas at protesters who hurled rocks
over a fence during bombing exercises on the island of Vieques.
2002 Sep 7, U.S. Navy fighter
jets dropped dummy bombs and inert missiles on Vieques in military
exercises that have divided this outlying Puerto Rican island for
2002 Dec 31, In Puerto Rico
police recaptured one of five convicts who escaped from prison when
a helicopter swooped into their maximum security compound and
spirited them away.
2003 Jan 13, Protesters waved
Puerto Rican flags and shouted "Navy get out!" as fighter jets
dropped inert bombs over Vieques in what the Navy says will be its
last round of training on the island.
2003 Feb 8, The US Navy
conducted its last scheduled round of weapons tests on Vieques
Island, Puerto Rico. A 2013 report said that the US Navy had fired
more than 300,000 munitions in Vieques from the mid-1940s to 2003,
taking control of 77 percent of the land.
(SFC, 2/10/03, p.A9)(AP, 5/1/13)
2003 Apr 30, The U.S. Navy
withdrew from its disputed Vieques bombing range in Puerto Rico,
prompting celebrations by islanders.
2003 Jun 12, Puerto Rico police
arrested more than 1,000 people during a major anti-drug operation.
2003 Jul 20, In Puerto Rico
Jose Antonio Rivera Robles, was beaten to death at a gas station
after he reportedly stole a police car. In 2009 a jury in US federal
court convicted four Puerto Rican police officers in the beating
death. Two other officers previously pleaded guilty to felony
federal civil rights charges in the case.
2003 Aug 5, Catalino "Tite"
Curet Alonso (77), a Puerto Rican composer who wrote nearly 2,000
dance songs and ballads, died in Baltimore.
(AP, 8/6/03)(SFC, 8/9/03, p.A15)
2003 Sep 23, Puerto Rico's
congressional delegate said the United States will close its
Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in eastern Puerto Rico within the next
2003 Oct 21, Luis A. Ferre
(99), a philanthropist and former governor of Puerto Rico who became
the patriarch of the territory's US statehood movement, died.
2003 Nov 9, Former Gov. Pedro
Rossello won Puerto Rico's pro-statehood nomination for governor in
a primary, clearing the way for him to run again in the territory's
elections next year.
2003 Dec 30, Miriam Naveira was
sworn in as the new chief justice of Puerto Rico's Supreme Court,
making her the first woman to hold the post.
2004 Mar 31, US Navy ships and
troops were scheduled to depart Roosevelt Roads Naval Station,
Puerto Rico. The base had been used for 6 decades to keep watch over
2004 Jan 17, Rafael Cordero
Santiago (61), the mayor of the Puerto Rican city of Ponce, died
after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
2004 Jan 19, Puerto Rico police
reported 45 homicides since Jan 1.
(USAT, 1/20/04, p.12A)
2004 Feb 11, In Puerto Rico 4
people were killed in separate shootings over the last 24 hours,
pushing the number of deaths past the 100 mark for this year. There
were 780 killings in 2003, compared with 781 in 2002. Police say
most of the violence on the island of 4 million people is
2004 Mar 31, The US Navy closed
Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, its last base in Puerto Rico. It was
transferred to a special naval agency that will coordinate the
closing process. The base had been used for 6 decades to keep watch
over the Caribbean.
(AP, 1/6/04)(AP, 4/2/04)
2004 Sep 15, Tropical Storm
Jeanne lashed Puerto Rico with damaging winds and rain that knocked
out power, flooded roads and killed two people. It soon strengthened
from a tropical storm into the 6th hurricane of the season.
2004 Oct 8, A Puerto Rican
attorney asked a federal appeals court to end "the state of
servitude" that island residents find themselves in and allow them
to vote in the Nov. 2 presidential election.
2004 Nov 1, Puerto Ricans long
have been U.S. citizens but cannot vote for the U.S. president, a
situation that former Gov. Pedro Rossello promises to change if
elected to return to the island's top job.
2004 Nov 2, Puerto Rico's
delegate to the US Congress clung to an extremely narrow lead in the
race for governor against former Gov. Pedro Rossello, who promised
to fight for statehood.
2004 Nov 3, Puerto Rico's
delegate to the U.S. Congress, who favors the island's current
status as a U.S. commonwealth, claimed victory in a gubernatorial
race so close that a recount has been ordered.
2004 Nov 20, Puerto Rico's two
highest courts ordered election authorities in separate rulings to
immediately begin recounting votes cast in the extremely tight Nov.
2 gubernatorial elections.
2004 Dec 23, Acevedo Vila,
Puerto Rico's congressional envoy, who favors the island's status as
a U.S. territory narrowly, won a recount in the governor's race.
2004 Dec 29, Puerto Rico's
governor-elect said he opposes the war in Iraq and wants to see a
reduction in the number of U.S. troops, including islanders, posted
in the troubled country.
2004 Puerto Rico’s annual
income per person was around $12,000 for this year.
(Econ, 5/27/06, p.25)
2005 Mar 16, Puerto Rico Gov.
Anibal Acevedo Vila unveiled proposals to eliminate more than 23,000
government jobs and close several public agencies, vowing to pull
Puerto Rico out of a cycle of budget deficits and debt.
2005 Apr 30, Students and
administrators at the main campus of Puerto Rico's largest
university agreed to end a 3-week-old strike called to protest a 33
percent tuition increase.
2005 Jul 10, Puerto Ricans
voted to do away with half their lawmakers, endorsing a referendum
for a one-house legislature.
2005 Jul 21, A truck strike
paralyzed fuel deliveries across Puerto Rico.
2005 Jul 22, Truck drivers in
Puerto Rico ended a three-day strike that paralyzed gasoline
2005 Sep 23, In Puerto Rico FBI
agents shot and killed Filiberto Ojeda Rios (72), a Puerto Rican
nationalist leader wanted in the 1983 robbery of a Connecticut
(AP, 9/25/05)(Econ, 10/1/05, p.82)
2005 Sep 23, In Puerto Rico
real estate developer Adam Anhang (b.1973), a Canadian businessman,
was killed. His wife, Aura Vazquez, sued Anhang's parents six months
after Anhang was beaten and stabbed to death. She accused them of
seizing control of his estate and blocking her from it. Vazquez was
later charged by a US grand jury with offering a man $3 million to
kill Anhang. Jonathan Roman Rivera (22) spent eight months in
maximum security prison after he was sentenced to 105 years for the
slaying. Rivera was released in June 2008 after another man was
indicted for the murder. In 2009 Rivera sued more than a dozen
police officials and prosecutors for his ordeal, seeking $12 million
2005 Oct 5, Drug agents found
3,904 pounds of cocaine in the steel oxygen tank, one of the largest
drug busts in Puerto Rico's history. The DEA has estimated that as
much as 20 percent of the cocaine that reaches the US moves through
the Caribbean. Traffickers love Puerto Rico because after their
drugs arrive on the island, they can be hidden amid regular cargo
and shipped onward, bypassing routine searches because Puerto Rico
is part of the United States.
2006 Feb 10, FBI agents in
Puerto Rico searched five homes and a business to thwart what the
agency said was a "domestic terrorist attack" planned by militants
favoring independence for the US island territory.
2006 Feb 26, More than 1,000
demonstrators chanting anti-FBI slogans and carrying Puerto Rican
flags marched through the capital of this U.S. island territory.
2006 Mar 2, Puerto Rico's Gov.
Anibal Acevedo Vila signed into law a ban on smoking in enclosed
public places, the toughest anti-tobacco prohibition in the
2006 Apr 23, Powerful waves
capsized a boat carrying Dominican migrants near a popular surfing
beach off the coast of Puerto Rico killing at least five people.
Small boats frequently attempt to smuggle migrants from the
Dominican Republic to the US Caribbean territory, a roughly 70-mile
journey across the often-perilous Mona Passage.
2006 Apr 25, In Puerto Rico
Gov. Acevedo Vila warned in a televised address that "Beginning next
Monday, May 1, the majority of agencies of the central government
will not be able to operate." Puerto Rico's House of Representatives
wants to impose a 4 percent sales tax instead and has refused to
review the governor's plan. The island now has no sales tax.
2006 Apr 28, More than 45,000
Puerto Ricans marched through the streets of San Juan demanding
politicians resolve a budget impasse that could lead to a government
shutdown next week.
2006 May 1, The government of
Puerto Rico ran out of money, forcing the US commonwealth to close
public schools and shut down government offices, putting almost
100,000 people out of work.
2006 May 4, Puerto Rico moved a
step closer to resolving a partial government shutdown as the
island's Senate voted to impose a sales tax of 5.9% and a new levy
on large corporations.
2006 May 8, Puerto Rico's
governor and legislative leaders have agreed to abide by the
recommendations of a commission seeking a solution to a fiscal
crisis that has partially closed the island's government.
2006 May 10, Puerto Rican
officials resolved a budget impasse that put more than 95,000 public
employees out of work, crippled government services and hurt
business in this U.S. island territory.
2006 May 13, Puerto Rican
lawmakers approved the first key pieces of legislation aimed at
resolving a budget crisis that has kept more than 100,000 public
employees out of work since May 1.
2006 Jul 23, Zuleyka Rivera
Mendoza (18) of Puerto Rico was crowned as Miss Universe 2006. She
hoped to someday star in US and Latin American films.
2006 Jul 29, In Puerto Rico
drug kingpin Jose Lopez Rosario (b.1976), who allegedly controlled
the drug trade in the US island's northeastern region, died from
gunshot wounds received on July 23. His death and his alleged
connections to political figures were controversial in Puerto Rico,
as local newspapers such as El Nuevo Dia and El Vocero covered the
story for days after he died.
2006 The US government ended
tax incentives for American firms manufacturing in Puerto Rico.
(Econ, 10/26/13, p.18)
2007 Jan 6, Seven people were
killed in shootings across Puerto Rico, prompting the US territory's
police chief to plead for tougher gun laws.
2007 Mar 1, In Puerto Rico the
US attorney's office in San Juan announced that a US federal grand
jury indicted seven people in a case where terminally ill cancer
patients were allegedly injected with a bogus cure made from the
patients' own blood.
2007 Mar 2, People caught
smoking in bars and restaurants in Puerto Rico faced fines as a ban
on lighting up in enclosed public spaces took effect.
2007 Mar 12, In Puerto Rico
union leader Wallis Rivera Rodriguez (51) was allegedly killed
because he was going to reveal financial wrongdoing at an apartment
complex. In 2009 Jose Juan Viera Morales was extradited from New
Jersey to face murder charges and for conspiring to distribute
2007 Apr 9, Puerto Rico seven
inmates, convicted of homicides, escaped from prison using
2007 Apr 22, Trustees said a
fund to compensate Puerto Rico for damages from a 1994 oil spill
will be used to build an artificial reef, create a shoreline nature
reserve and restore the walls of a Spanish colonial fort.
2007 Jun 13, In Puerto Rico
Inter American University professor Leonardo Gamallo Sotolongo
disappeared after going to pay Jorge Aguilera Enchautegui for work
on his yard. Sotolongo’s body was found near a garbage dump two
weeks later. On Feb 25, 2010, the FBI arrested Aguilera at a motel
in Orlando, Florida, for carjacking and the slaying of Sotolongo.
2007 Jun 14, In Puerto Rico 5
men robbed a Loomis Fargo armored car. The next day Angel Fernandez
Ramos, a Puerto Rican police officer assigned to a DEA anti-drugs
unit, was arrested and charged with carrying out the $515,000
armored car heist with three relatives and another man.
2007 Jun 25, Puerto Rico's Gov.
Anibal Acevedo Vila acknowledged that he is the target of a US grand
jury investigation into campaign finances, a revelation further
jeopardizing his bid for re-election.
2007 Aug 2, US federal agents
arrested dozens of doctors accused of obtaining medical licenses
through fraud or bribery, carrying out sweeping raids across Puerto
Rico. The FDA accused 88 doctors of falsified credentials.
(AP, 8/2/07)(WSJ, 8/3/07, p.A1)
2007 Aug 10, In Puerto Rico a
police officer shot and killed Miguel Caceres Cruz during a struggle
at a traffic jam. Javier Pagan Cruz, the officer who fired the
shots, was convicted of murder and a weapons charge and sentenced to
109 years in prison. Prosecutors later said two associate police
could have prevented the slaying. In 2011 a jury acquitted the two
police officers of being accessories to murder.
2007 Oct 9, In Puerto Rico
animal control workers seized dozens of dogs and cats from housing
projects in the town of Barceloneta and hurled them to their deaths
from a bridge in the neighboring town of Vega Baja. Mayor Sol Luis
Fontanez blamed a contractor hired to take the animals to a shelter.
In 2008 a Puerto Rican judge found a contractor and two of his
workers not guilty of animal cruelty due to lack of evidence.
International anger led more than 50,000 people worldwide to sign a
petition threatening to boycott travel to the Caribbean island.
Tourism officials estimated Puerto Rico lost more than $15 million
as a result.
(AP, 10/13/07)(AP, 9/10/08)(AP, 9/16/10)
2007 Oct 28,
Puerto Rican and US archaeologists said they have found the
best-preserved pre-Columbian site in the Caribbean, which could shed
light on virtually every aspect of Indian life in the region.
Artifacts of Taino or pre-Taino people dated from 600 A.D. to 1500
2007 Oct 30, In Puerto Rico
federal authorities arrested more than two dozen people in a
crackdown on fraudulent medical licenses on the island.
2007 Dec 12, US federal agents
and local police launched raids in several Puerto Rican cities with
arrest warrants for 121 drug suspects.
2007 Dec 12, Tropical Storm
Olga soaked portions of the Caribbean, triggering floods and
landslides that killed at least 38 people in the Dominican Republic,
Haiti and Puerto Rico.
(AP, 12/12/07)(AP, 12/13/07)(WSJ, 12/15/07, p.A1)
2008 Jan 3, Puerto Rico halted
all bird imports after a rare outbreak of avian flu in nearby
Dominican Republic, where authorities killed more than 100 chickens,
including fighting roosters that tested positive for the lethal
virus. The ban forced the cancellation of more than 100 cockfights,
dealing a blow to the lucrative industry.
2008 Feb 23, in Puerto Rico
Eddie Maco Campbells (b.1970) of Oakland, Ca., was shot and killed
after an argument at a bar in the popular tourist area of Isla
Verde. On March 13, 2009, a judge in Puerto Rico found Jose Perez
Pagan guilty of murdering Campbells.
2008 Mar 5, In Puerto Rico
public school teachers voted to suspend a 10-day strike that
shuttered classrooms and sparked clashes between protesters and
2008 Mar 27, Puerto Rico’s Gov.
Anibal Acevedo Vila was charged with 19 counts in a campaign finance
probe, including conspiracy to violate US federal campaign laws and
giving false testimony to the FBI. 12 others were also charged in
the corruption probe.
(AP, 3/27/08)(WSJ, 3/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Apr 13, The winners of
this year’s Goldman Awards were reported to be: Feliciano dos Santos
(43) of Mozambique, the director of Estamos, an environmental group
promoting sanitation, sustainable development and reforestation;
Marina Rikhvanova (46), founder of Baikal Environmental Wave, which
forced the rerouting of an oil pipeline in the Baikal basin; Pablo
Fajardo (35) and Luis Yanza (48) of Ecuador, co-founders of the
Amazon Defense Front, which accused Texaco (now Chevron) of dumping
oil and wastewater into local streams; Rosa Hilda Ramos (63) of
Puerto Rico, head of a movement to protect the Las Cicharillas
Marsh; Ignace Schops (43) of Belgium, head of a movement to
establish Belgium’s 1st and only national park; Jesus Leon (42) of
Mexico, co-founder of the Center for Integral Small Farmer
Development of the Mixtec (CEDICAM).
(SSFC, 4/13/08, p.A4)
2008 Jun 1, NY Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton won Puerto Rico's Democratic presidential primary
68-32%. Only 16% of the voters went to the polls.
2008 Aug 19, A US federal grand
jury handed down a new indictment against Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal
Acevedo Vila, charging him with four counts of wire fraud and one
count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with
alleged campaign finance violations.
2008 Aug 25, In Puerto Rico US
federal agents arrested 59 alleged members of a drug trafficking
ring in coordinated raids in a number of small towns, where some
housing projects were under siege by gangsters. Home to nearly 4
million people, Puerto Rico’s homicide rate was more than three
times the US national average. Authorities said drug trafficking was
behind the majority of the killings.
2008 Aug 29, The San Juan Star,
Puerto Rico's Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language newspaper,
closed. The owner blamed the union for not agreeing to benefit cuts
and layoffs to offset declining revenue.
2008 Aug, Puerto Rico passed an
animal protection law, nearly a year after authorities charged the
owner and two employees of a private animal control company with
taking away dozens of pet dogs and some cats from public housing
projects and throwing them off a bridge.
2008 Aug, In Puerto Rico FBI
agents and police officers launched the late-night raid in the city
of Carolina to free a Dominican man. Police say kidnappers were
holding him in the trunk of a car and demanding $650,000 in ransom.
A Puerto Rican policeman was killed by “friendly fire” during the
gunbattle with kidnappers. In 2009 authorities charged FBI agent
Jared Hewitt with negligent homicide for shooting 12-year police
veteran Orlando Gonzalez Ortiz.
2008 Oct 2, The US FBI arrested
Puerto Rico Sen. Jorge de Castro Font (45) for providing political
favors in exchange for cash and services totaling roughly half a
million dollars. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on 31
criminal counts including bribery, wire fraud and money laundering.
2008 Oct 27, It was reported
that a new study, released last week, has found dangerous levels of
toxic metals in produce grown on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico,
formerly used as a Navy bombing range, despite US government claims
that the soil there is safe.
2008 Nov 4, Puerto Rico voted
to oust incumbent Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila, who is under indictment
for allegedly violating campaign finance laws. Challenger Luis
Fortuno of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, vowed to fight
crime and spur the island's troubled economy. On March 20, 2009, a
jury found Vila not guilty on all 9 charges against him.
(AP, 11/4/08)(SFC, 3/21/09, p.A2)
2008 Dec 3, In Puerto Rico a
Rockwell International 690B plane slammed into El Yunque mountain,
killing Caribbean pilot Ken Webster and two US tourists on board. A
spokesman for the Medical Mutual of Ohio health insurance company
later identified the two Americans as Kent W. Clapp, the firm's
chief executive, and his fiancee, Tracy Turner.
2008 Dec 19, Federal agents in
Puerto Rico arrested three island police officers accused of
providing security for drug traffickers.
2009 Jan 2, Luis Fortuno (48),
Puerto Rico's new governor was sworn, inheriting an island
government that is battling a recession, a soaring murder rate and a
deficit of more than $1 billion.
2009 Jan 23, In Puerto Rico
three of five co-defendants reached plea agreements days after
another co-defendant, former Acevedo aide Eneidy Coreano, agreed to
testify in a federal corruption trial against former Gov. Anibal
Acevedo Vila and have her charges dropped.
2009 Jan, Liquor company Diageo
PLC signed a long-term lease to build a Captain Morgan rum
distillery in the Virgin Islands in exchange for a portion of the
territory's excise-tax revenue, estimated at $2.7 billion over 30
years. The distillery opened in late 2010 on the island of St.
Croix. Puerto Rico expected to lose $140 million in 2012 as a result
of the lucrative production of Captain Morgan rum moving to the U.S.
2009 Feb 4, In Puerto Rico Sara
Kuszak (35) made a desperate call for help from the trunk of her
kidnapper's car, about an hour before she was found dead with her
throat slashed. Eliezer Marquez Navedo (36) confessed to kidnapping
the pregnant tourist as she was jogging and killing her. The FBI
used a signal from the victim's cell phone to help locate the
suspect. Navedo was later convicted of kidnapping, rape and murder
and sentenced to 105 years in prison.
(AP, 2/5/09)(AP, 6/2/09)
2009 Feb 8, A single-engine
plane carrying six US citizens crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off
the north coast of Puerto Rico.
2009 Apr 1, Puerto Rican actor
Miguelangel Suarez (69) died. His career included minor roles in
last year's epic "Che" and Woody Allen's "Bananas."
2009 Apr 2, In Puerto Rico FBI
agents and police arrested at least 35 suspects in an alleged drug
trafficking ring blamed for seven murders.
2009 Apr 2, The director of the
US Mint unveiled the first US coin with an inscription in Spanish, a
quarter honoring Puerto Rico as the "Isla del Encanto" (Island of
2009 Apr 12, In Puerto Rico
Army Spc. Nokware Rosado Munoz (28) had been arguing with his
pregnant wife about his upcoming redeployment to Iraq before hanging
2009 May 29, Puerto Rico fired
nearly 8,000 government workers, the start of a wave of layoffs
aimed at closing a budget deficit as the island struggles through
its third year of recession.
2009 Jun 21, In San Juan,
Puerto Rico, a lone man who robbed $340,000 from a popular hotel and
casino by threatening a supervisor's family.
2009 Jul, In Puerto Rico Police
Stephanie Rodriguez Pizarro died in a San Juan housing project after
she sought treatment to help with marital and financial troubles. A
spiritual healer allegedly dropped a candle into an alcohol bath
where she was undergoing a Santeria ritual. She died of
second-degree burns over half her body. In 2010 healer Jose Cadiz
Tapia (46) was charged with negligent homicide.
2009 Aug 7, The US
Environmental Protection Agency said the US Department of
Agriculture has agreed to pay $30,000 in penalties for alleged
improper maintenance of underground storage tanks in Puerto Rico.
2009 Aug 15, In Puerto Rico
Ricardo Lebron Berrios (23), a prisoner being taken to jail to face
car theft charges, allegedly shot one police officer to death and
gravely wounded a second, then escaped in their squad car.
2009 Sep 15, In Puerto Rico
several employees of American Airlines were among a group of at
least 20 people arrested on suspicion of aiding a smuggling ring
that shipped drugs from Puerto Rico's main airport to the US
2009 Sep 18, Puerto Rican
authorities captured Angel Ayala Vazquez, also known as "Angelo
Millones," an alleged dealer they say led a violent drug ring in at
least two sprawling housing projects in Puerto Rico and trafficked
narcotics to the US mainland.
2009 Sep 24, In Puerto Rico
police officer Luis Martinez was killed in the northern coastal city
of Manati. In 2011 suspect Anthony Rivera Morales (23) was arrested
at a homeless shelter in New York and extradited back to the US
island territory to face murder charges.
2009 Sep 25, Puerto Rico's
government announced that it will lay off more than 16,000 public
workers in the US Caribbean territory, adding to an unemployment
rate higher than that of any US state.
2009 Sep 29, In southern Puerto
Rico hundreds of US and local agents swept into a town to break up
violent drug rings accused of operating out of several public
2009 Oct 2, In Puerto Rico some
500 law officers swarmed into a public housing project and other
sites to dismantle a trafficking ring allegedly run by the island's
top drug suspect, Angel Ayala Vazquez, a man described as an
aspiring Robin Hood and a patron to reggaeton stars. Ayala, better
known as "Angelo Millones," was captured last month following a
2009 Oct 14, In Puerto Rico
labor unions called for an island-wide strike and a march near the
capital to protest government layoffs in Puerto Rico, where more
than 20,000 public employees have been dismissed as the island
struggles to pull out of a three-year recession.
2009 Oct 15, In Puerto Rico
thousands of demonstrators swarmed the financial hub of San Juan,
blocking highways and setting fires in the streets of the capital to
protest massive layoffs of government workers. Gov. Luis Fortuno has
said the dismissal of more than 20,000 public employees was
necessary to close a $3.2 billion deficit and pull the economy out
of a 3-year recession.
2009 Oct 17, In Puerto Rico
gunmen opened fire into a bar in Toa Baja shortly before midnight
and killed seven people, injuring 20 others. On Oct 27 Wilfredo
Semprit Santana, the owner of the bar, was arrested and charged with
(AP, 10/18/09)(AP, 10/27/09)
2009 Oct 23, In Puerto Rico an
earthshaking explosion at the Caribbean Petroleum Corp. in the
suburb of Bayamon, just west of the capital of San Juan, led to the
evacuation of more than 1,500 people. Authorities wee concerned
about those downwind of the fire.
2009 Oct 30, In Puerto Rico new
Gov. Luis Fortuno's issued an order allowing large-scale development
inside a 3,200-acre parcel of land immediately north of El Yunque,
the only tropical rain forest in the US National Forest system.
Previous Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila had declared the Northeast
Ecological Corridor off-limits to all but small, eco-friendly
projects after a preservation campaign backed by actor Benicio del
Toro and attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
2009 Nov 13, In Puerto Rico the
dismembered body of college student Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado (19)
was discovered along a road in the interior town of Cayey. Lopez was
widely known as a volunteer for organizations advocating HIV
prevention and gay rights. Suspect Juan Martinez Matos (26), was
soon arrested and allegedly confessed to killing Lopez and
mutilating his body. He was charged with first-degree murder and
weapons violations and jailed on $4 million bond.
2009 Dec 22, In Puerto Rico
Gov. Luis Fortuno signed legislation that lowered the blood alcohol
limit for drivers ages 18 to 20 to .02% from the standard .08% that
applies to all other drivers on the US island.
2010 Jan 8, In Puerto Rico
officials said they have killed 800 monkeys blamed for scavenging
crops and damaging natural resources in southwest region. Most of
those killed were patas monkeys. About 200 rhesus monkeys were sent
to the Caribbean Primate Research Center at the University of Puerto
Rico and to other countries. The monkeys had escaped from research
labs in the 1960s and '70s.
2010 Feb 26, Health officials
in Puerto Rico declared an epidemic of dengue fever. Health
Secretary Lorenzo Gonzalez says 210 cases have been confirmed for
January, more than triple the number in the same month of 2007.
2010 Apr 19, In Puerto Rico the
naked body of Ashley Santiago Ocasio (31), born as Juan Antonio),
was found at his home in the town of Corozal. Rico Ashley Santiago
Ocasio (31), a transgender beauty salon owner with high cheekbones
and a flair for fashion, had been shot in the head. Her car was
missing and there were no signs of a break-in.
2010 Apr 30, In Puerto Rico
regulators shut down three banks that had struggled to stay afloat
during Puerto Rico's grinding, four-year recession. A judge in
Puerto Rico sentenced two former police officers to prison for the
beating death of a suspect who was detained in 2003 for allegedly
stealing a patrol car.
2010 May 10, In Puerto Rico a
group of people including nine American Airlines employees pleaded
guilty to a drug-smuggling scheme that spanned a decade and targeted
cities across the United States. They were arrested in September as
part of a joint investigation called "Operation Heavy Cargo."
2010 May 11, In Puerto Rico
hundreds of police and federal agents raided a public housing
complex and arrested more than three dozen people allegedly involved
in selling an estimated $65 million worth of drugs.
2010 Jun 10, In Puerto Rico
Jose Claudio Montes, also known as "Chiki Bazooka," was captured by
the FBI inside a housing project where he allegedly controlled the
trade of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. 532 pounds (241kg) of
cocaine was seized hidden on a pleasure craft named "La Burla" —
Spanish for "Mockery." It was intercepted off Puerto Rico's west
coast. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the two
Puerto Rican men and one Dominican man aboard.
2010 Jun 16, In Puerto Rico
negotiators reached an agreement to end a strike that has paralyzed
the University of Puerto Rico for nearly two months. On June 21
students ratified the agreement.
(AP, 6/17/10)(AP, 6/21/10)
2010 Jun 22, Puerto Rican Sen.
Hector Martinez Maldonado (41) was indicted for allegedly supporting
legislation in favor of a private security company in exchange for a
trip to Las Vegas to watch a boxing match. Martinez was first
elected senator in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. He resigned in March
as head of an important judicial committee citing a federal
investigation, but he denied any wrongdoing.
2010 Jun 27, It was reported
that thousands of Puerto Ricans have been caught up in a lucrative
document-fraud scheme to hide illegal immigrants in the United
States. The island government's only answer so far is to void every
Puerto Rican birth certificate as of July 1 and require about 5
million people, including 1.4 million on the US mainland, to reapply
for new ones with security features. New birth certificates will be
issued starting July 1, and all old birth certificates will be
annulled by Sept. 30.
2010 Jul 9, In Puerto Rico
hundreds of US drug agents and local police swept through public
housing projects at dawn on the island's west coast in what
officials described as the largest operation of its kind in the
2010 Jul 17, In Puerto Rico US
federal authorities arrested Jose Figueroa Agosto (45), a fugitive
alleged drug kingpin, after a decade-long chase through the
Caribbean marked by his narrow escapes and public taunting that he
paid off police to remain free.
2010 Jul 25, Puerto Rico's Gov.
Luis Fortuno declared a state of emergency for 17 flooded
communities in the US territory due to a weather system that later
turned into Tropical Storm Bonnie.
2010 Aug 10, In Puerto Rico
Coraly Campos feuded with her partner and told him he would never
see the two children again. She then beat them, stabbed them with a
kitchen knife and set the house afire. Her 3-year-old daughter and
1-year-old son died in the attack in the city of Trujillo Alto.
Campos also tried to kill herself. On March 11, 2011, Campos (21)
was convicted of first-degree murder, child abuse, arson, domestic
abuse and violation of weapons laws.
2010 Aug 26, Puerto Rican
teachers walked off their jobs in a one-day strike over staff and
funding levels, giving students a day off barely 3 weeks into the
new academic year.
2010 Sep 15, In Puerto Rico a
man, accused of dragging a stubborn horse last February alongside
his truck, became the first person convicted by a local jury under
an animal protection law enacted after dogs were thrown to their
deaths from a bridge. On Nov 17 Georgenan Lopez (24) received a
12-year prison sentence, becoming the first person convicted by a
jury under the animal cruelty law implemented in August 2008.
(AP, 9/16/10)(AP, 11/17/10)
2010 Sep 29, In Puerto Rico 7
US Postal Service workers were indicted on charges they shipped
thousands of parcels of heroin, cocaine and marijuana through the
2010 Sep 29, In Puerto Rico
police fatally shot William Malaret Pagan (77) after he opened fire
at them, a killing that comes as Puerto Rico's law enforcement
officers are under scrutiny for allegedly using excessive force.
Pagan shot at officers when they tried to arrest his son on drug
charges. The killing happened hours before Gov. Luis Fortuno
publicly introduced an independent monitor he appointed to assist a
federal investigation into allegations of excessive force and
corruption among police.
2010 Sep 30, Puerto Rico police
charged a couple with repeatedly raping their six children and
forcing them to participate in drug-fueled orgies. Police said the
alleged abuse occurred daily from 2001 to 2004. The three girls were
3, 5 and 7 years old at the time. The boys were 9, 10 and 11.
2010 Oct 6, In Puerto Rico FBI
agents began arresting police officers accused of corruption. Local
newspaper El Nuevo Dia reported that police and corrections officers
were among 133 people named in the federal indictments, yet to be
2010 Nov 22, US federal agents
fanned out across Puerto Rico seeking to arrest 17 alleged members
of a drug smuggling organization. Luis Figueroa, the younger brother
of smuggling leader Jose Figueroa Agosto, had boarded the Caribbean
Princess with his wife, two children and in-laws before the
operation began. Agents waiting on board the ship arrested him
without incident before the ship reached its first port-of-call in
the US Virgin Islands.
2010 Dec 20, In Puerto Rico at
least 17 people were detained as students at the largest public
university in the Caribbean clashed with police during an indefinite
strike over a new fee.
2010 Dec 20, A Puerto Rico
National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopter crashed in the ocean while
returning from a drug raid on Vieques. 3 bodies of the six people on
board were found and the remaining were feared dead. The last body
was recovered on Jan 23.
(AP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/22/10)(AP, 1/23/11)
2011 Jan 1, In Puerto Rico
Justino Sanchez Diaz (48) attacked his family with gasoline and a
blowtorch. 2 of his victims soon died from their wounds and Diaz was
charged with murder. The mother of Diaz and Jesus Sanchez 4th died
of their injuries on Jan 4. On Jan 6 Kate Donahue (25) of Seattle,
who was engaged to Sanchez, died of her injuries. On Jan 29 Nereida
Vazquez, who had been in an induced coma for weeks, died of a lung
infection brought on by her injuries. In September Diaz was
convicted of killing 6 people and was sentenced to 198 years in
(AP, 1/3/11)(AP, 1/5/11)(AP, 1/29/11)(AP,
2011 Jan 4, In Puerto Rico
police officers seized nearly 200 bags of cocaine and roughly 30
bags each of heroin and marijuana. A caiman was tied near the drugs,
which were found during a routine patrol in La Perla neighborhood of
historic Old San Juan.
2011 Feb 9, The Puerto Rican
Association of University Professors began staging a 24-hour strike
in support of students who have clashed with police during protests
over a new fee.
2011 Feb 17, In Puerto Rico
police arrested 469 people over the last 36 hours in a sweep that
targeted people accused of crimes ranging from murder to traffic
2011 Feb 24, In Puerto Rico US
federal officials said Alexis Candelario Santana is among five
people indicted on federal racketeering charges involving an
organization that sold drugs in Puerto Rico. The indictment of
Santana accused him of 21 homicides from 1993 to 2009, though it
does not charge him with murder. The five faced 17 charges including
violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO Act), a charge that is viewed as easier to prove because it
targets behavior patterns instead of criminal acts.
2011 Feb 27, In Puerto Rico
Rep. Rolando Crespo (35), a member of the party that favors US
statehood for the Caribbean island territory, resigned his seat, two
days after officials disclosed that a drug test showed he had used
2011 Mar 7, In Puerto Rico a
jury convicted Sen. Hector Martinez and island businessman Juan
Bravo Fernandez, who owns one of the island's largest security
companies, of bribery in a high-profile trial that featured
allegations the lawmaker accepted a trip to Las Vegas to see a
boxing match in exchange for political favors.
(AP, 3/7/11)(AP, 3/8/11)
2011 Mar 9, In Puerto Rico
masked gunmen raided a waterfront casino, forced gamblers to the
floor and fled with more than $200,000, leaving a trail of bills
fluttering along the beach.
2011 Apr 11, In Puerto Rico
Hilton Cordero Rosario, the police commissioner of San Juan, was
charged with sexually assaulting a minor and producing child
pornography in a case that emerged after his teenage daughter
accused him of molesting her. In December he was indicted on 22
charges of child pornography.
(AP, 4/11/11)(SFC, 12/8/11, p.A9)
2011 Apr 14, Federal
authorities in Puerto Rico seized $1.35 million in cash hidden
inside a car aboard a cargo ship that arrived from Philadelphia.
2011 Apr 14, Augusto Marin
(b.1921), one of Puerto Rico's best-known painters and muralists,
died. He was best known for large paintings and murals in the modern
style that blended Caribbean and religious elements.
2011 Apr 26, A Puerto Rico jury
convicted Angel Ayala Vazquez, once considered the top local drug
dealer, of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and pills at
public housing projects in the community of Bayamon. Also convicted
was his brother, Luis Cruz Vazquez. On October 26 Ayala was
sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 4/26/11)(AP, 10/26/11)
2011 May 10, In Puerto Rico
Norberto Gonzalez Claudio (65), part of a radical group that stole
the money to aid their struggle for Puerto Rican independence, was
captured while out for a morning jog. A judge soon ordered that he
be sent to Connecticut to face charges in the theft of $7 million
from an armored car depot in 1983.
2011 May 17, In Puerto Rico
Jorge de Castro Font (47), an influential former senator whose
testimony helped convict an ex-colleague and has bolstered federal
investigations against other high-ranking politicians, was sentenced
to five years in prison after having pleaded guilty to corruption
charges. De Castro was accused of soliciting up to $525,000 in cash
and other benefits including meals and private flights from 2005 to
2008 and of promising to block or advance certain bills as chair of
the powerful rules committee.
2011 May 19, In Puerto Rico a
jury convicted five people of fraudulently obtaining medical
licenses to work as doctors in the US territory.
2011 May 27, In Italy a Naples
hospital said Puerto Rican tourist Oscar Antonio Mendoza (66), who
was knocked to the ground by muggers trying to grab his Rolex, has
died, nine days after he was hospitalized with severe head injuries.
Jun 5, In San Juan, Puerto Rico, two surviving members of the
“Flying Wallendas,” Delilah Wallenda and her son Nik, successfully
completed a dangerous high-wire walk between two towers of a hotel,
on a wire 100 feet above the ground, without a net. They performed
the stunt to honor the memory of family patriarch Karl Wallenda, who
had fallen to his death while attempting the walk in 1978.
2011 Jun 14, President Obama
became the first president since John F. Kennedy to make an official
visit to Puerto Rico. Despite sweltering temperatures, he was
greeted enthusiastically by thousands of Puerto Ricans. Obama spent
time with Luis Fortuno, the island’s Republican governor, and he
gave a speech in which he expressed his appreciation for the culture
and heritage of the Puerto Rican people. Regarding the issue of
Puerto Rico’s status, Obama said there should be a referendum, and
if the voters choose statehood, or choose independence, his
administration would respect their
2011 Jun 15, In Puerto Rico
Doral Bank executive Maurice J. Spagnoletti was shot to death on a
busy highway in San Juan. The 56-year-old father previously held
bank executive posts in South Carolina, Indiana and Pennsylvania. An
investigator said the slaying could be linked to an audit
Spagnoletti was conducting at the bank.
2011 Jun 27, In Puerto Rico
Luis Calderon Rodriguez, sub-director of the water and sewer
authority in the city of Carolina, was arrested and removed from his
post. He was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery involving
programs that use US federal funds.
2011 Jun 29, Puerto Rican
authorities broke up the island's largest heroin distribution ring
with a raid on La Perla, a notorious seaside slum, after a grand
jury indicted 114 people on drug and weapons charges.
2011 Jul 2, Puerto Rico's
police chief, Jose Figueroa Sancha, resigned amid sharp criticism
over a rising homicide rate in the US territory and allegations of
2011 Jul 7, Ricardo Alegria
(90), a Puerto Rican scholar, died. He was known for his pioneering
studies of the island's native Taino culture and is credited with
preserving the capital's colonial district.
2011 Aug 22, In Puerto Rico
Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane of the Atlantic storm season,
cut power to more than a million people, downing trees and flooding
streets, before heading out over warm ocean water on a path that
could take it to the US mainland by the end of the week.
2011 Aug 31, In Puerto Rico
former Arecibo police officer David Gonzalez Perez was found guilty
of providing security to drug dealers.
2011 Sep 2, In Puerto Rico
Raymar Lucena Rivera, president of a local trucking corporation, was
arrested following accusations that he laundered more than $7
million in drug proceeds.
2011 Sep 13, In Puerto Rico a
14-year-old girl went on a playground rampage with a hypodermic
needle, stabbing 37 classmates in the southern coastal town of
Arroyo. On Dec 2 she was sentenced to two years of probation.
(AP, 9/15/11)(AP, 12/2/11)
2011 Sep 21, In Puerto Rico the
FBI arrested six current and former employees of the Department of
Education on charges that include bribery and money laundering.
Agents arrested a total of 9 people and planned to arrest 4 more,
including a person in Tampa, Florida.
2011 Oct 14, Puerto Rico's
Corrections Department said it plans to dismiss 97 officers and
suspend more than 100 others who face charges of drug consumption,
contraband smuggling and unjustified absences.
2011 Nov 2, Police in Puerto
Rico reportedly stopped an erratic driver and seized $500,000 in
cash during the routine traffic stop.
2011 Nov 7, In Puerto Rico
eight shackled prisoners drowned after a van they were being
transported in was engulfed by muddy floodwaters in the northern
coastal city of Arecibo. On Nov 10 prosecutors charged prison guard
Hector Cruz Santiago with eight counts of negligent homicide over
the drowning deaths of the inmates.
(AP, 11/7/11)(AP, 11/10/11)
2011 Nov 12, Puerto Rico
reported that 983 people have been killed so far this year, equal to
the number of killings reported for all of last year when the US
Caribbean territory marked its second highest number of slayings
ever. A record 995 people were killed in 1994 in this island of 4
2011 Nov 14, Puerto Rico police
captured drug smuggler Carlos Morales Davila between Puerto Rico and
the island of Vieques. He was expected to be extradited to Miami.
2011 Nov 16, Federal agents in
Puerto Rico said they have seized 225 kg (nearly 500 pounds) of
cocaine more than $4 million from a house owned by pro boxer Ivan
Calderon. Calderon said the house was one of a number of investment
properties he owns and that he was not aware of any illegal
2011 Nov 17, Puerto Rico's
governor said he's allocating $20 million to provide police with
more training and resources as the island suffers a record number of
killings this year.
2011 Nov 17, It was reported
that French company Fonroche plans invest $115 million to build a
44-megawatt solar farm in Puerto Rico. The farm will be built on 160
acres (65 hectares) and will provide power to the state-owned
electric company as part of a 20-year, $240 million contract.
2011 Dec 2, In Puerto Rico a
man opened fire inside an unemployment office in Caguas, killing
Luis Lopez Rodriguez (27) and wounding another in what an official
said appeared to be targeted attack.
2011 Dec 8, The US Agency for
Toxic Substances and Disease Registry accepted local claims that
there is a higher incidence of cancer and other health ills on
Vieques island compared with neighboring Puerto Rico, but said there
is no proof the problem is linked to US military activity. The
bombing range closed in 2003 following years of protests about
environmental risks and the 1999 killing of a Puerto Rican civilian
guard by an errant bomb.
2011 Dec 9, Puerto Rico’s most
wanted criminal, Miguel Diaz Rivera (39), was arrested in the
Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. He is accused of running a drug
trafficking network in at least five Puerto Rican cities.
2011 Dec 27, The governor of
Puerto Rico signed 4 laws that he said will help track suspects and
provide aid to crime victims as the island struggles with a record
number of killings.
2011 Dec 29, In Puerto Rico FBI
agent Daniel Knapp (43) drowned after trying to rescue a swimmer in
distress at Hidden Beach in the coastal city of Fajardo.
2012 Jan 11, Some 50 people
were being arrested at various locations including Puerto Rico and
the Dominican Rep., with most of them in the mainland US in a
document fraud case.
2012 Jan 27, In Puerto Rico
Nicolas Gonzalez Figueroa, an assistant US Army chaplain who pleaded
guilty to producing child pornography, was sentenced to nearly 20
years in prison.
2012 Feb 3, Puerto Rico's
government announced plans to kill as many iguanas as possible and
export their meat in hopes of eradicating an imported species that
has long vexed residents and entertained tourists. The reptiles were
first seen in the wild in Puerto Rico in the 1970s when owners began
to release them, and their numbers have since exploded. The US
territory estimated it has 4 million iguanas, which is a little more
than the island's human population.
2012 Feb 15, In Puerto Rico
Barceloneta Mayor Sol Luis Fontanez was arrested in a restaurant
parking lot and accused by federal prosecutors of accepting $55,000
in bribes from developers. Fontanez was first elected mayor in 1988.
2012 Mar 15, In Puerto Rico a
vintage cargo plane loaded with bread crashed in a lagoon near the
international airport, killing the airline's owner and another crew
2012 Mar 18, Mitt Romney won
all 20 delegates in the Puerto Rico Republican presidential
(SFC, 3/19/12, p.A7)
2012 Mar 28, Puerto Rico's
police chief Emilio Diaz Colon, a retired National Guard general,
quit less than a year after being appointed to lead a department
that federal agents have accused of corruption, illegal killings and
civil rights violations.
2012 Mar 29, In Puerto Rico
Hector Pesquera (65), a former director of the local FBI office, was
nominated to lead the island's troubled police department.
2012 Apr 3, In Puerto Rico
Santeria leader Orlando Robles Ortiz was among dozens of suspects
arrested for helping run an organization that allegedly smuggled
drugs bound for the US and rigged Puerto Rico's lottery system to
2012 May, Puerto Rico’s Gov.
Luis Fortuno proposed an ambitious, and what critics call
far-fetched, plan to require all public schools to teach all courses
in English instead of Spanish. Fortuno said he wants all public
school students to be bilingual within 10 years.
2012 Jun 6, In Puerto Rico US
federal agents swept through the main airport and other areas,
arresting dozens of baggage handlers, airline workers and others
suspected of smuggling millions of dollars' worth of cocaine aboard
commercial flights for at least a decade.
2012 Jun 25, Puerto Rico's Gov.
Luis Fortuno signed a law protecting 1,950 acres (790 hectares) of
north coast state-owned land from large-scale development. The new
reserve makes up 66 percent of what is known as the Northeast
2012 Jul 30, Puerto Rico’s Gov.
Luis Fortuno signed into law an updated penal code increasing prison
sentences for homicide, assault and other offenses as the US island
territory struggled to contain crime and the widespread perception
that violence is out of control.
2012 Sep 29, In Puerto Rico
Wilnilia Sanchez Falcon (27) was suspected of killing her boyfriend,
Jesus Rivera Algarin (25), after he became upset about her
activities on Facebook.
2012 Oct 12, The government of
Puerto Rico formally withdrew plans to build a natural gas pipeline
after investing more than $50 million in a project that provoked
strong opposition from islanders and environmentalists.
2012 Nov 6, A 54%
majority of Puerto Ricans sought to change their ties with the
United States and become the 51st US state in a non-binding
referendum that would require final approval from Congress. Puerto
Ricans also ousted Luis Fortuno, the pro-statehood governor in a
close election. Challenger Alejandro Garcia Padilla won by less than
2012 Nov 20, In Puerto Rico
boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho (50) was struck in the jaw in a
drive-by shooting. His friend Adrian Mojica Moreno was killed.
Doctors at the Rio Piedras Medical Center in San Juan declared
Camacho brain dead on Nov 22.
2012 Dec 20, In Puerto Rico Joe
Ramos, president of WAPA TV, told reporters that the SuperXclusivo
show will be taped two hours before it is broadcast. The
announcement follows a recent outcry over comments that the
controversial puppet, known as La Comay, made about a man who was
2012 Dec, Moody's lowered
Puerto Rico's credit rating, stating in part that it doesn't have a
clear idea as to how and when the government will solve the
retirement systems' problems. It warned of an additional credit
rating downgrade if no reforms are undertaken.
2013 Feb 26, Puerto Rico's Gov.
Alejandro Garcia Padilla approved turning over the operations of the
country’s largest airport to a private company as part of an
estimated $2.6 billion deal that began under his predecessor and has
been fiercely protested.
2013 Mar 14, Puerto Rico's
government urged legislators to move quickly and approve financial
austerity measures following a report from a Wall Street ratings
agency that downgraded the island's general obligation bonds to
2013 May 3, The president of
the University of Puerto Rico's main campus resigned just days after
the presidents of the university's 10 other campuses did the same.
The announcement by Ana Guadalupe came amid a flurry of resignations
to protest the governor's reform of the institution's board of
2013 Jun 30, In Spain Aurea
Vazquez Rijos, accused of hiring someone to kill her wealthy
Canadian husband in Puerto Rico on Sep 23, 2005, was arrested by
Spanish police after being sought for five years in the alleged
2013 Aug 21, In Puerto Rico US
federal authorities had arrested at least 68 people and were seeking
seven more in a multimillion dollar Social Security fraud case.
Puerto Rico has been said to have one of the highest rates of fraud
involving federal disability benefits.
2013 Aug 30, In Puerto Rico
Dino Bouterse, the son of the president of the South American
country of Suriname, was arrested on US drug charges.
Subject = Puerto Rico
End of file