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Calderon: Pesquera Acts With Much Haste

Berrios Freed After 4 Months

More Cops Arrested

Pesquera Running For NPP President And Governor

Santini For VP

Gutierrez Imprisoned, Says Puerto Rico Is A Nation

Sharpton Endorses Ferrer

Santini Declines To Discuss Run For Governor

Governor: Pesquera Acts With Much Haste

August 30, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Gov. Sila Calderon said Thursday that the announcement of former New Progressive Party (NPP) President Carlos Pesquera to run for governor in 2004 was "very hasty."

Calderon, who defeated Pesquera in the 2000 elections, declined to comment any further on the announcement of the former Transportation secretary.

On Wednesday, Pesquera announced his intentions of running for governor on the same day that San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini had filed his candidacy for one of the vice presidential posts of the NPP.

Although he hasn't confirmed his intentions of also running for governor for the NPP, Santini has said it is unfair to limit his future political aspirations.

Berrios Freed After Four-Month Sentence For Vieques Protest


August 30, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Rican Independence (PIP) President Ruben Berrios was freed today from a federal detention center in Guaynabo after completing a four-month sentence for trespassing on U.S. Navy lands in a protest against bombing exercises on Vieques island, saying he was "grateful and excited."

Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton was among hundreds on hand to greet Berrios. Berrios urged widespread protests to put pressure on the Navy.

"Life must be made impossible for the U.S. government," Berrios said. "There in New York, in Washington, in Florida, we must open that bridge with more momentum, wisdom and strength."

Berrios also said he was counting on leaders such as Sharpton and actor Edward James Olmos to help mobilize support in the United States.

"This man has shown what great leadership is all about," Sharpton said. "We pledge to stand with him."

Berrios' four-month sentence was imposed by U.S. Magistrate Jesus Castellanos because this was the PIP leader's third offense, among other things.

Berrios said the long sentence had not diminished his passion for the Vieques cause, since he did not rule out the possibility of engaging in civil disobedience anew.

More Cops Arrested In New Bust In Puerto Rico

By Iván Román | San Juan Bureau

August 30, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Orlando Sentinel. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Seven police officers, including three accused of selling pure-grade heroin from their patrol cars, were arrested Wednesday in the latest corruption scandal to hit the beleaguered Puerto Rico Police Department.

Five of the officers and a mechanic related to one of them were rounded up Wednesday on various parts of the island. The other two were among 29 officers arrested two weeks ago as part of the FBI's Operation Lost Honor, the largest police-corruption probe in the agency's history.

The officers arrested Wednesday are accused of receiving thousands of dollars from undercover agents posing as drug dealers in exchange for the use of their weapons, cars and identities as police officers to transport and protect cocaine shipments.

The officers, agents said, sold the heroin from their patrol cars while in uniform.

Police Superintendent Pierre Vivoni reassured residents that local and federal authorities were rooting out corrupt officers in the 19,000-strong police force. Residents, he said, should not be alarmed because the arrested officers represent a small portion of the department.

Pesquera Running For NPP President And Governor, Again

By Proviana Colon Diaz

August 29, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

Former New Progressive Party (NPP) President Carlos Pesquera on Wednesday made it official: He wants to be party president and a gubernatorial candidate for the 2004 general election.

Pesquera's announcement is the latest turn of events in the drama unfolding within the NPP since Pesquera, who was defeated by Gov. Sila Calderon in the 2000 election, quit his job as president to return to private life.

Also Wednesday, San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini made official his candidacy for one of the party's vice presidential posts.

The overwhelming support for Santini, which includes 29 of the 32 New Progressive Party (NPP) elected mayors, as well as 16 of the 20 House minority legislators and four of the eight senators, comes only days after powerful leaders of the party publicly opposed his candidacy.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez Sentenced To Three Hours In Prison And Probation

August 29, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Casellas on Wednesday sentenced U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez to a three-hour prison term and six months probation for trespassing during protests against Navy bombing on Vieques.

Gutierrez, a five-term Democrat from Illinois, was allowed to serve his three hours at the U.S. Marshals office within the U.S. District Court building in San Juan.

"I don't like breaking the law, but there is no alternative left to us besides peaceful civil disobedience," said Gutierrez in court before sentencing. He was to be released Wednesday afternoon.

The sentence was among the most lenient handed down by the federal courts in Puerto Rico against Vieques protesters.

Guitierrez Says Puerto Rico Is A Nation

August 29, 2001
Copyright © 2001 EFE News Service. All rights reserved.
Source: World Reporter (TM)

San Juan - Puerto Rican Congressman Luis Gutierrez on Tuesday said " Puerto Rico is a nation," and that this reality does not depend on the political sovereignty of the island, which is a U.S. commonwealth.

"The existence of nations is not a matter of whim," said Gutierrez, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, of Puerto Rican parents.

"Nations have a common land, language, life and history, which translates into a common culture," he said.

"The existence of a nation is not based on whether this nation has political sovereignty or a specific political structure. The existence of a nation has nothing to do with the citizenship its members possess," he argued.

"But Puerto Rico is a nation that was born, grew up and matured in colonial conditions ... and like a nation, it has never known national sovereignty," Gutierrez said.

Sharpton Endorses Ferrer In Mayoral Race


August 28, 2001
Copyright © 2001 THE NEW YORK TIMES. All rights reserved.

[PHOTO: James Estrin/The New York Times]

Fernando Ferrer campaigning in Harlem with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Representative Charles B. Rangel, left.

Yesterday morning, the Rev. Al Sharpton stood next to Fernando Ferrer and announced that he was unequivocally supporting Mr. Ferrer's bid to become mayor of New York.

Mr. Ferrer, the Bronx borough president, grinned as Mr. Sharpton shepherded Mr. Ferrer, who if elected would become New York's first Puerto Rican mayor, through black neighborhoods in Harlem, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

The endorsement by Mr. Sharpton should assure him enough votes in the Sept. 11 Democratic mayoral primary to qualify for a runoff between the two top vote-getters.

"Ultimately, we need a mayor who cares," Mr. Sharpton said. "No one I know cares more about the people of New York City than Freddy Ferrer.

Santini Declines To Discuss Run For Governor

By Proviana Colon Diaz

August 28, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

San Juan Major Jorge Santini said Monday this is not the time to talk about gubernatorial candidacies for the 2004 elections and declined to say whether he is considering running for governor on the New Progressive Party (NPP) ticket.

Santini stated that at the moment he is only talking about helping the party and added that he was willing to do so from a vice presidential role and work with whomever becomes president of the party.

The San Juan mayor also said this was the wrong time for anybody at the NPP to be talking about running for any candidacies for the 2004 elections.

Santini reacted this way to comments that NPP Second Vice President Ramon Luis Rivera was drawing support for his son, Bayamon Mayor Ramon Luis Rivera Jr., as a possible NPP gubernatorial candidate for 2004.

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