Puerto Rico leaves behind midnight a complicated 2019 in which it was news in the world by the events that were recorded on the island, which transcended the borders of the Caribbean territory and the United States.
The protests of the summer of 2019 that led to the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the prohibition of cockfighting, the confrontation between the Government and the federal executive control entity established to manage the debt and corruption cases in the Legislative are A sample of draft news.
The island, despite what many would have wanted, occupied international attention during 2019 that today ends with a complicated balance for a territory that in November 2020 has an election date.
The elections of next November will not count until last July governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, who after the historic weeks of protest last summer ended, driven by popular pressure, resigning from his position because of the controversial “chat.”
The baptized summer of 2019 on the island was a seizure in the streets of Puerto Rico after the disclosure of the content of the “chat” that ended with Rosselló’s farewell, after losing the support of the legislative chambers, the New Progressive Party (PNP ) and society.
The “chat” of the Telegram application was not a forum of about a dozen government officials and advisors who discussed political issues with misogynist and homophobic language.
The exchanges of messages exposed attempts to manipulate political polls to favor the public image of Rosselló.
The “chat” came only weeks after the arrests of several former officials and contractors of the Rosselló Executive for a case of government corruption linked to the Department of Education and another agency.
In that case of corruption, the former Secretary of Education Julia Keleher and the former executive director of the Health Insurance Administration (ASES) Ángela Ávila were arrested along with four government contractors for corruption schemes that led to the diversion of 15 million dollars .
Another of the highlights of the year was the ban, which came into force this December, of cockfighting on the island, federal regulations passed in Congress in Washington but also applicable in the island.
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed at the local level to stop the ban, which according to the sector will cost thousands of people the job, a blow to a declining economy for more than a decade.
The millionaire debt of Puerto Rico also made headlines during the year as the first steps were taken for its restructuring.
The judge responsible for its management, Laura Taylor, approved last February the adjustment plan of the Corporation for the Interest Fund (Cofina) for 17,000 million dollars.
The Fiscal Oversight Board, an entity established by regulations approved by Congress in Washington, presented in September an adjustment plan to restructure about 35,000 million in government debt and 50,000 million more in pension obligations.
The legislative chambers were also in the information focus when a trial was held against Senator Abel Nazario, accused by a federal court of electronic fraud when he was mayor of the municipality of Yauco.
In addition, the director of the Senate Office of Government Affairs, Ángel Figueroa, was arrested for a scheme to use public funds to pay for services that were not actually offered.
The Government promoted in May a regulation for the Reduction of Administrative Burdens of the Municipalities that would exempt the municipalities from paying pensions and the health plan for their employees, although the Fiscal Supervisory Board sued the Executive to avoid its implementation.
Officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) and the company president, the company Cobra Acquisitions, were accused of fraud in relation to the disaster funds allocated to the island for the reconstruction of the power grid after the hurricanes of 2017.
In line with corruption, the former secretary of the Treasury Teresa Fuentes resigned from office in January because of conflicts with her predecessor and secretary of the Interior, Raúl Maldonado, after reporting irregularities in the agency.
The island was close to directly suffering the force of Hurricane Dorian as it passed through the Caribbean, although at the last moment the tropical system moved away without consequences.
The constant cuts of the electrical system were also predominant note during 2019, a problem that required the intervention of the Government and that revealed the structural problems of the state Electric Power Authority.
The joys in 2019 in Puerto Rico came with the sport, thanks to boxer Amanda Serrano, who conquered a new world title, which has already reigned seven different divisions.
Table tennis player Adriana Díaz won the Pan American Cup title and secured her qualification to the World Cup for the first time in her career.