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A Time Of Sorrow

Governor: Expresses Horror At N.Y. Sight, Rallies Private Sector Support

Commission To Investigate Human Rights Violations

Exercises To Begin

"United For New York"

Not The Time To Talk About Vieques

Viequenses Asked To Donate Blood


SEPTEMBER 20, 2001

A Time Of Sorrow

"Our whole nation is in mourning over the tragic deaths of so many Americans in the recent terrorist acts.

The people of New York City, and the people of our nation, have responded with generosity, courage and patriotism. During this time of great sadness, we are witnessing a new determination.

We have seen countless examples of courage as our emergency workers and our firemen and policemen risked and lost their lives to save others. Ordinary people have reached out to offer assistance.

Let there be no misunderstanding, the American people will not let this terrible act diminish our spirit or force us into fear."

Rep. Jose E. Serrano

Governor Expresses Her Horror While Visiting New York Scene

September 20, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

NEW YORK (AP) - In the midst of a persistent drizzle, Gov. Sila Calderon visited Thursday the area of the collapsed World Trade Center in New York, where she expressed her sentiments of horror at the sight, as well as solidarity with the United States.

Entering through the destroyed area of the Mercantile Exchange, Calderon -accompanied by New York Gov. George Pataki - walked the area known as "ground zero."

Pataki explained to Calderon that what she was seeing was relatively clean thanks "to the colossal work" of the people who are removing the rubble.

Calderon, during the brief 15-minute visit, said Puerto Rico firmly supports the United States, the New Yorkers, and Pataki in their recovery efforts.

Puerto Rico sent a squad of rescue technicians who have been working among the rubble for a week. Officials estimate that more than 500 Puerto Ricans who worked in the World Trade Center died in the terrorist attack.

"I want to say that it has been a special opportunity to have a first hand look of the horrible devastation in this place," Calderon said.

The governor declared that she had heard what had happened, but to see it personally affected her. "I am deeply affected by what I am seeing... Nothing prepared me for something so terrible," she said.

She confirmed that there are Puerto Ricans under the rubble, but there are also others who are working in the recovery effort.

"My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families so that there is a fast recovery and democracy will shine as it needs to shine," the governor said.

Calderon Heads To New York

September 19, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Gov. Sila Calderon was scheduled to fly to New York on Wednesday to visit the families of the victims in the terrorist attack perpetrated against the twin towers of the World Trade Center. She will also visit the Saint Vincent Hospital, where most of the Puerto Ricans injured in the attack are.

The governor said she will visit the homes of several Puerto Ricans who have reported their relatives missing in last week's tragedy.

Calderon also stated that she will meet with Puerto Rican rescue workers who have been helping the rescue efforts and in the removal of the remains of those who perished under the rubble of the collapsed towers.

Calderon Rallies Private Sector

By Ken Oliver-Mendez

September 19, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Caribbean Business. All rights reserved.

Gov. Sila Calderon urged private sector leaders to help her administration maintain consumer confidence and the island's economic stability by retaining current employment levels and working with the government to promote a positive business climate.

The call was made at a two-and-a-half-hour meeting convened Wednesday by the governor with about 40 business and labor union leaders, who represent the island's principal economic sectors, in an effort to soften any immediate negative economic impact in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks on the United States and the global war on terrorism that has ensued.

"The principal request I have made to our business leaders - and what we have discussed together - is the importance of maintaining a stable and positive climate in terms of investments in Puerto Rico, and the importance of each sector and business in particular making a special effort in terms of maintaining their employment and confidence in our economy," Calderon told reporters following the meeting.

Calderon said the business leaders offered their collaboration and suggestions on how to cope with the current situation.

Commission To Investigate Human Rights Violations In Puerto Rico

September 19, 2001
Copyright © 2001 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc. All rights reserved.
Source: World Reporter (TM)

San Juan - A special committee of legal experts from around the world will investigate allegations that the U.S. Navy and the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico violated the rights of protesters on Vieques Island.

The committee will meet from Sept. 24-27, the same day military exercises are to be renewed on Vieques Island, to "examine all the claims that the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico violated the civil and human rights of protesters who are opposed to the military exercises on Vieques ," Falcon said.

Vieques Bombing Exercises To Begin

September 19, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - The U.S. Navy has notified the Puerto Rican government that it plans to resume bombing exercises on the island of Vieques as early as Monday, an official said.

The Navy had previously notified the Puerto Rican government of its plans. But there had been uncertainty about whether the exercises would go forward as planned after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last week.

The exercises could last as long as 23 days, Fernandez said.

Government Begins Collection Of Funds To Aid Victims

September 18, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - The Puerto Rico government begins Wednesday a campaign to collect funds to aid the families of those who perished in the terrorist attacks against the United States.

With the slogan "United for New York," Puerto Rico residents can make cash donations through one of the 500 bank branches throughout the island, according to Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado.

The funds will be destined to firefighters, police officers, workers and their families, Ports Authority employees, state employees and their family and children.

Not The Time To Talk About Vieques

By Proviana Colon Diaz

September 18, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

Gov. Sila Calderon said this was not the time to link Vieques with last week's terrorist attacks.

"I think it's premature at this moment, one week after what has happened, to even talk about the issue," Calderon said.

Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila acknowledged that the priorities in Congress have shifted as a result of last week's events to security issues.

Acevedo Vila believes that this shift will have little effect on the issue of Vieques.

"My analysis at this moment is that priorities have changed in Congress, and thus the current law prevails, and there will be a referendum in November, and what will happen is what the people of Vieques decide," Acevedo Vila said.

Serrano Asks Viequenses To Donate Blood For N.Y. Victims

September 18, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Vieques Mayor Damaso Serrano urged Vieques residents to begin an intense campaign to collect blood for the victims of the terrorist attack in New York.

"I beseech my people of Vieques to generously donate that vital liquid that is so essential now to save the lives of the victims of the disaster in New York," said the mayor in a message sent from prison, where he is serving a four-month sentence for trespassing on U.S. Navy restricted land.

"We are not a people of material riches, but we cultivate nobility and generosity," Serrano said.

The mayor also asked prison officials to allow him, as well as other prison mates, to donate blood for the victims in New York.

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