Journalists sue the Department of Public Security for information about police officers involved in gender violence

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Photo by Mari B. Robles López | Center for Investigative Journalism

The number of police officers who have been arrested for domestic violence and sexual assault, or how many officers have been convicted for gender violence are undisclosed statistics, although they were requested in early April from the Police by journalists Cristina del Mar Quiles and Syra Ortiz-Blanes of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) and of El Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald, respectively.

After many unsuccessful follow-up efforts, the petition is now before the San Juan Superior Court after a request for mandamus was filed on Tuesday to obtain this public information from the Department of Public Security and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau.

“At a time when the island has been sunken under a deep wave of gender violence cases, in which even the work of our public institutions has been questioned, few issues are of greater public interest than what’s reflected in these requests for information that are the matter of this legal recourse,” the mandamus establishes.

“There are actions by the Government of Puerto Rico against gender violence that have nothing to do with creating new laws or making new plans, but with the obligation of the Government itself to comply with current laws, and this is a great example. Collecting and publishing reliable data and having it available and up-to-date is something that’s already the duty of security agencies,” said Carla Minet, executive director of the CPI.

Judge Alfonso Martínez Piovannetti established a 10-day term on Tuesday afternoon for DSP Secretary Alexis Torres Ríos and Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa to show cause as to why the information that the CPI and journalist Syra Ortiz-Blanes requested, should not be released.

“The Puerto Rico Police have had a historical problem when it comes to providing access to information that’s considered public and that puts their performance in the spotlight. On the issue of gender violence, there are many questions about how these cases are handled, and we have to start by looking at the information that is collected. But if we aren’t given access to the most basic, then oversight becomes difficult. This information was also requested from the Police Monitor and the Department of Justice, and they haven’t released it. This reflects a disregard for the responsibility that these agencies have to be accountable,” said Carla Minet.

The legal recourse is protected by legal provisions and the Commonwealth’s Constitution, in addition to the jurisprudence established by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.

“The information requested by the petitioning parties is not protected in any way by any privilege or claim of confidentiality and is not covered under any of the exceptions to the right of access to information,” the legal document states.

The requests to the Puerto Rico Police Bureau were submitted on April 5, 2021, by journalists Cristina del Mar Quiles and Syra Ortiz-Blanes, as part of a collaboration between the CPI, the Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald. The information requested also includes the number of police officers against whom protection orders have been filed under Act 54, the number of police officers who have been arrested for domestic violence and are still active, and the number of agents with administrative complaints over gender violence.

The petition for mandamus was presented by attorneys Luis José Torres Asencio and Steven P. Lausell Recurt from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico Law School’s Legal Assistance Clinic.

1 thoughts on “Journalists sue the Department of Public Security for information about police officers involved in gender violence

  1. There is  a Facebook page that complains about Police Misconduct Title 42 Section 1983 ,Title 18 14141, Violent Crime 1994 is not enforced in Puerto Rico today, because there is no police protection on the entire island for Plaintiff victims if they pursue their Civil rights in a court of law. Puerto Rico wants to be a state, but it cannot enforce Federal laws and protection for civilians living on the island, or visiting.
     See the Facebook 

    Page link below. There is not a lawyer existing here in PR  today that is available to represent a victim who has been abused, murdered, human rights,violated by corrupt police or army reserve officers. I read and found this information on this Public page someone posted. Although all police officers are not criminal or corrupt,the officer listed below is based on what we are experiencing now in the “Special Note,” listed below…quoted by FB page.. I sent my complaints #750 in April with no response by email and completed an online in April 2023 (no response 5 months)

    Special Note: The Puerto Rico Police is very vindictive and if you are just visiting the island they would not follow up on your complaint. If you are residing in the island there had been documented cases in which they have use threats or cause physical injuries to complainants in some instances commit murder. For your protection we recommend sending the complaint in writing via CERTIFIED MAIL to both of this addresses..quote from the above facebook link..

     I have a Police Misconduct Criminal complaint to  file  in United District Court of Puerto Rico. The above warning is happening to a family of 4 held 100+ days in a rental home by a police officer/ army reserve. ( now 9 months)  (cameras,drones and listening devices installed around the property by Miguel Garcia and criminal organizations.)No police protection. No federal protection.  We are unprotected with death threats, at the address of 2292 Miguel Caban Lopez, San Antonio, 00690 in Aguadilla Puerto Rico. 

    The police officer is Miguel Garcia of San Antonio Police Dept. #463 Victoria St, in Aguadilla, Pr. 00690  787-890-2020. He is also US Army Reserve (Fort Buchanan Guaynabo PR. 787-707-6596. He is logged into all of my devices,I attached a document for review. Here is his Computer ID 5TQHRV7: MAC address: EC:55: F9 : B4: B7: C9: Email: Miguel.Garcia, or [email protected]. Miguel Garcia and a criminal organization (see @ LambrightMm Twitter for some of his accomplices,there are many more unknown)I found Miguel Garcia logged onto my devices,email accounts,Covid19 federal funds applications. He has access to federal funding systems in US government.

     I notified Rep Jenniffer Gonzalez (202) 225-2615) as directed by many resources advised. DOJ,FBI,DHS, many other federal and local, with no response. Rep Gonzalez’s staff advised by her,  directed me to contact the Russel House in Washington  (202) 224-3151). Russell House referred me back to her,because she is assigned Puerto Rico. He made a record and said he would tell Congress of the matter. He was given information and wanted to follow up. All of my devices,phone (939-279-8465) Internet modems are cloned ,calls are redirected. Or  blocked,and recorded occupied by Miguel and and his criminal organizations. Our computers are disabled by ransom ware and viruses,our cell phones were cloned and shutoff.We attempted to activate replacement phones,they were disabled,shutdown again. I filed many complaints and reports in regard to the appropriate authorities with no results.
     Twitter is not updated,but since then, the cyber attacks,loss of cell  phones ,Covid19 federal funds identity theft,loss of computers,etc. Courtesy of Miguel Garcia and criminal organizations. This group is reading all communications, right now, as they are attached to all devices we own. I had tried to replace then only to be shut down,cloned or some are completely disabled with ransom ware.

     In January after losing use of our vehicle due to murder for hire hit,as described @LambrightMm Twitter, FBI  Agent Gibaldi called from a private number. He questioned who was in the home,does the kids have cell phones,and he found nothing so far. Then shortly after, we lost all of our cell phones.  We heard from no one else 9 months now. I have attached documents that verify the identity of Miguel Garcia logged in my emails and I provided his device identity . I am employed, (contracts) enrolled in college and cannot work or  access due to loss of needed devices( blocked illegally from working and continuing college.) Password Spray,cyber attacks on personal websites,loss of privacy,illegal surveillance, identity theft, Loss of vehicle and transportation for daily use and errands,a freedom illegally seized.
    ( a right to see doctors,dental,medical,needed medicines,physical therapies,I am handicapped using walkers and canes ) Also other family members are affected,with these illegal loss of normal freedoms. We are experiencing long term affects of physical,psychological and mental injuries. We are constantly exposed to chemicals blowing in the rental home, 24/7. We   are under Murder for hire contracts payable and ordered by Miguel Garcia,Miguel A. Gonzalez,and Carmen Torres / and daughter,a police officer driving the AAA water construction vehicle that blocked and filmed the (vehicle)  transaction to load to the dark web. I reported all of these incidents to the proper authorities with no results. Please call  to ask why are we still in this for the past 9 months? I’m sure they know we are here. Complaints have been filed. I can resend requested documents. AG Muldrow (787) 766-5656; AG Garland (202) 514-2000; Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez (202) 225-2615; Russell House (202) 224-3151; ( proof of record) Call FBI Joseph Gonzalez (787) 981-6500; Why has Miguel Garcia and his criminal organizations are not arrested? I am requesting AG Muldrow to file Title 18 241/242 immediately. Arrest these criminals.

    The most recent regards a new law in Puerto Rico.  See the complaint attached. It was filed August 6th with no results. We are to be murdered by Miguel Garcia and his criminal organizations. @LambrightMm. We are exposed to war agents and other chemicals that are life threatening to animals and humans, 24/7.

    Regards,Marlene Lambright. The only phone I have is 939-279-8465. If you call be aware,that Miguel Garcia and his criminal organizations,and some are government employees,will be on the call. You will be recorded..illegal surveillance. Miguel Garcia just deleted emails illegally I have sent to the Pentagon today. He has access to government and federal funds systems. He is a threat to the us government infrastructure using cyber attacks and Ransom Ware.

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