Puerto Ricans are placing pressure on government officials to cancel LUMA Energy’s contract.
LUMA is the island’s primary (and only) company responsible for power distribution and transmission.
People have been growing restless since LUMA took over all the electrical efforts in Puerto Rico in June 2021 due to an outrageous amount of blackouts. Boricuas also experienced an increase in their electrical bills since the private company arrived on the island.
Not known for standing on the sidelines, a large crowd of Puerto Ricans rushed to the street where the island’s capitol building, La Fortaleza, can be found – Calle de la Fortaleza, also known as “Calle de la Resistencia”– to protest. Their main objective was to make their dissatisfaction known – although, they’ve been vocal about this issue for the past 14 months through social media and smaller protests.
Hundreds of Puerto Ricans joined the protest against LUMA
The protestors waved banners with messages against LUMA and banged on saucepans and pots throughout the night. They also came prepared with megaphones, speakers, and microphones to yell their frustrations at the capitol building.
Puerto Rican public figures also joined the protest. Jorge Pabón, famously known as “Molusco,” as well as rapper René Pérez from Residente Calle 13, marched alongside their compatriots.
As the night progressed, things got more heated.
The police got involved
Police officers were instructed to fire tear gas at the protestors. A little after 9 P.M, Puerto Rico’s Police Commissioner sent out a press statement confirming that he had ordered the removal of the protestors who demanded the cancellation of the contract with LUMA Energy. Several arrests were also reported.
“The police officers at the protest are residents of Puerto Rico and they feel and suffer like any other person. They went there to ensure that everyone had the right to protest in a safe environment, without incident. The attacks tonight against my police officers are reprehensible. These, in addition, could cause damage to other protestors,” said Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa. (The text was translated from Spanish to English.)
If we remember the protests in Puerto Rico in the summer of 2019, then we should expect Puerto Ricans to continue to make their demands heard.
Check back for updates on the situation.