ODSEC to Court for Concealment of Public Information about Community Centers
San Juan – The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) filed a mandamus against the Puerto Rico Office for Socioeconomic and Community Development (ODSEC, in Spanish) and the Special Communities Perpetual Trust to demand access to public information related to the ownership of community centers, recreational facilities, or sports facilities in Puerto Rico’s special communities. From September to October 2022, Journalist Luis Joel Méndez González, from the CPI, requested a list of community centers and recreational spaces over which the ODSEC has jurisdiction. The petition was also submitted to the Special Communities Perpetual Trust. Although the ODSEC and the Trust stated several times that they do not have jurisdiction or ownership of facilities in Puerto Rico’s special communities, subsequently, Thais Reyes Negrón, as executive director of the ODSEC and chair of the Trust, granted at least two management agreements for community centers, recreational facilities, or sports facilities in Puerto Rico’s special communities, in which the Trust was identified as the owner of said properties. A few months later, the CPI saw that the Special Communities Perpetual Trust announced on its social networks that it had signed two administration agreements to share the management of a gym in the special community of Las Curías, in San Juan, and the Rosa E. Rivera community center of the Los Filtros community, in Guaynabo.