Government Has No Plan to Handle Increase in Post-disaster, Gender-based Violence

Since Hurricane Fiona struck September 18, the government of Puerto Rico has held more than a dozen press conferences, but in none has it provided information that helps victims and survivors of gender-based violence get specialized aid they need during the emergency, when they are most vulnerable. 


The Children Whose Mothers Were Taken Away by Machismo

“Where’s mom?,” asks Sgt. Roberto Mercado at the doorway of the light green house, located in the La Fuente neighborhood, in the town of Florida.

Behind the window, a 2-year-old boy responds by looking down at the floor next to him.

“For me, it was a sign that his mom was dead,” says the Puerto Rico Police negotiator about the femicide that he had to handle on the afternoon of June 30, 2018.

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

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.