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Rossello’s Iron Fist Needed To Fight Crime, Says Rodriguez…Cartagena Doesn’t Rule Out The Use Of Nat’l Guard To Combat Crime… Commonwealth To Be Commemorated In Ponce…4 Companies Bid To Operate Mega-Port…Humanitarian Aid in Route To D.R., Haiti…Santini Challenges Court, SEC Decisions…Kerry Spending $1m On Spanish-Language Ads

Charlie Rodriguez: Puerto Rico Needs Rossello’s Iron Fist To Fight Crime

By WOW News Staff

July 14, 2004
Copyright © 2004 WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

Following reports of a deadly shooting that claimed the lives of three men at Luis Llorens Torres housing project on Monday, New Progressive Party (NPP) gubernatorial candidate Pedro Rossello’s Campaign Platform Committee Chairman Charlie Rodriguez said on Tuesday that Puerto Rico needs to reinstate Rossello’s iron-fist policies to fight crime.

Rodriguez lambasted Gov. Sila Calderon’s administration, which he blamed for the sky-rocketing number of murders since 2001.

According to Rodriguez, so far this year there have been 30 more murders than when compared with the same time last year. Right now the number of murder cases stands at 428.

"The Sila Calderon-Anibal Acevedo Vila administration has proved ineffective and inept in protecting Puerto Rican homes. It has had four superintendents and the people have yet to see any positive change. There is only more crime," Rodriguez said.

The former senator noted the 40% reduction of Type 1 felonies during Rossello’s eight-year administration.

Rodriguez said that should Rossello win the gubernatorial run in November, he would reinstate his iron-fist policies to fight crime. However, this time it would be accompanied by crime prevention and rehabilitation programs.

He added that Rossello’s administration would strengthen relations with federal authorities to fight drug trafficking.

Rossello also intends to use the National Guard to support his anti-crime plan and to install surveillance cameras in high crime areas.

Cartagena Doesn’t Rule Out The Use Of National Guard

By Hilario de Leon of Associated Press

July 13, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

Police Superintendent Agustin Cartagena didn’t rule out the use of Puerto Rico’s National Guard to fight crime on the island.

Cartagena said he hopes the 1,600 agents who have been activated since Monday evening would be enough to control crime.

"I don’t rule out anything," Cartagena said during a press conference following a meeting with business owners who were concerned about criminal activity going on in shopping centers.

Gov. Sila Calderon ordered on Tuesday the activation of another 600 agents to double security efforts in high crime areas.

Calderon also ordered Cartagena to meet with managers and directors of shopping centers to listen to their concerns.

The governor is worried about criminal activity in Puerto Rico’s shopping centers, especially after the violent incident that took place at a Bayamon warehouse store where one person was killed and another two were wounded Friday night.

"We have come up with a work plan that includes state, municipal, and private security to reinforce patrols in high crime areas," Cartagena said.

On Monday, three men were killed and five others were wounded during a shoot out at Luis Llorens Torres public housing project.

Cartagena declined to blame the killings on the administration’s anti-crime plan.

"In the short term, the plan was meant to increase investigative personnel. In the medium term, the objective is to use technology. In the long term, the idea is to create an intelligence network," said Cartagena.

The 1,600 agents will be assigned to work at Nemesio R. Canales, Luis LLorens Torres, and Julio Selles Sola public housing projects in San Juan.

In Bayamon, agents have been assigned to reinforce their security at Amelia Ward of Guaynabo, the town of Cataño, Puente Blanco sector, Cucharilla street, and Las Vegas public housing project.

In Ponce, patrols have assigned to Las Ollas, Kennedy, Los Mojaitos , Villa Pueblo, and La Cantera, as well as Ferran development in Juana Diaz.

Commonwealth To Be Commemorated In Ponce

July 13, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The government will transfer its traditional commemoration of the Commonwealth’s Constitution Day to Ponce.

Acting Gov. Jose Izquierdo and Ponce Mayor Delis Castillo de Santiago said the main speaker will be Resident Commissioner and Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Anibal Acevedo Vila.

The 52nd anniversary of the drafting of the constitution will take place in Ponce’s La Guancha sector beginning at 9 a.m. when Gov. Sila Calderon is scheduled to address the people.

Only Four Companies Bid To Operate In Ponce’s Mega-Port

By Jose Fernandez Colon of Associated Press

July 12, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (AP) —Just days before the expiration of the deadline placed on local and international companies to submit proposals for the operation of the Port of the Americas slated for Ponce, only four companies had submitted bids to operate the mega-port.

Thus it was announced Secretary of Economic Development and Port of the Americas Authority president Milton Segarra, who reiterated that Thursday is the limit set for companies to submit their bids.

"We have received notification from four companies showing interest, which presented different options, and we decided to go with the option that allows for one company to design and build the port while another would operate and maintain the facilities," said Segarra.

Segarra indicate that among the companies interested are Main Ports, comprised of Puerto Rican and Dutch ship owners, a Company from Singapore, one from the United States, and a fourth from Asia.

"We have always hoped to gain the necessary building permits to begin construction in November, so that we may begging dredging Ponce Bay," he added.

The Environmental Quality Board submitted in June the Environmental Impact Report for the project and the Planning Board in May approved the building site.

He estimated that the dredging of Ponce Bay would take up to a year at a cost of $30 to $35 million. Tres muertos y dos heridos en balacera

Humanitarian Aid In Route To Dominican Republic And Haiti

July 12, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — An United States Coast Guard vessel, bearing 34,000 pounds of humanitarian aid, will depart on Monday in route to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Thus it was announced by aid mission coordinator Orvil Miller, who said the aid is not related to May’s torrential rain disaster but rather is meant for low income families in the communities of La Romana and San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic as well as the community of Juan Mendez in Haiti.

The aid, which includes food and clothing, was collected during the last two months by volunteers from the New Testament Church of Puerto Rico.

"The Coast Guard will hand aid directly to the New Testament Church in those countries, who would then be responsible for its distribution," said Miller.

This is the sixth aid shipment sent by the New Testament Church to the region since 1998.

Vessel That Presumably Carried Illegal Immigrants Seized

July 12, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Authorities announced that a vessel, which presumably transported illegal immigrants into the island, was seized by police on Monday in the Rio Grande neighborhood of Aguada.

According to the police report, U.S. Border Patrol and Police Maritime Units unsuccessfully tried to find the occupants of the 22 feet vessel at 1:30 a.m. Monday.

The boat, registered as "Miranda", measured 22 feet and was powered by two high speed motors.

Santini Challenges Court And SEC Decisions

July 12, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini said his campaign would remain as is, even after the courts have ruled that he must disassociate campaign slogans with those used to promote the City in publicity ads.

The first instance court ratified a decision by the State Elections Commission (SEC) which banned five items from the City’s publicity campaign which used phrases associated with Santini’s political campaign.

"There will be no changes in my campaign, because it is not dictated by the Popular Democratic Party’s (PDP) electoral commissioner. If the court demands that I make changes, then I will make the necessary changes," said Santini to the press.

The court found that both the City’s publicity campaign, paid with public funds, and his political campaign have striking similarities which are deemed illegal by the Electoral Law.

"To those who ‘don’t know a thing’ I will say the following: appeal laws exist to be used, said Santini, " those that can be appealed will be appealed," he added.

Kerry To Spend $1 Million On Spanish-Language Ads

By Nedra Pickler

July 12, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

BOSTON -- Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry announced Monday that he's spending $1 million to air Spanish-language television ads, part of his effort to target politically diverse Hispanics.

The ads will air on Spanish-language stations in Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

The 30-second ad is titled "Honor" and is designed showcase aspects of Kerry's life that his campaign is betting will appeal to Hispanics.

"We introduce you to a man of faith," a narrator says in Spanish. "A man of family. A man of honor. A man for our community. His name is John Kerry. And for more than twenty years, he has defended working people. And has fought so they can reach their dreams."

As the narrator speaks, the viewer sees images of Kerry playing with his young daughters, getting a medal in the Navy and working in the Senate. At the end, Kerry is heard saying "Si se puede!" -- yes we can -- to a cheering crowd.

Nearly two-thirds of Hispanics supported Democrat Al Gore over Bush in 2000. Still, Bush made inroads with Hispanics in the last election and was rewarded with 35 percent of their vote. Previous Republican presidential nominees failed to break 30 percent among Hispanic voters -- Bob Dole garnered 21 percent in 1996 and Bush's father got 25 percent in 1992.

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