• The San Juan Daily Star

Citing graphic videos posted on social media, governor expresses concerns about island’s image

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By John McPhaul

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that the dissemination of videos of slayings -- such as the double homicide that occurred on a highway in Guayama on Monday -- does not help the image that Puerto Rico wants to project for tourism.

“Crime is always shocking. And yes, today because of technology we can witness them, and that is horrible,” the governor at a press conference. “Also, it is unfortunate from the point of view of the projection of Puerto Rico abroad, which is something that I am always very zealous about protecting, because the reality is that right now we have rising tourism.”

“These things affect the quality of life of our people and also, the image of Puerto Rico before the world,” he added.

Some 525 homicides have been reported on the island so far in 2021.

Pierluisi insisted that the police are on the street doing their job.

“Am I satisfied with the effort of the police? Definitely yes,” he said. “Am I satisfied with the level of crime we have? Definitely not.”

The governor said there are different types of killings, whether through fights, drug violence, drug trafficking or stalking, in which victims are monitored by their would-be killers and targeted in a moment of vulnerability.

“Here we are going to work every day against crime and I know that I speak on behalf of the Puerto Rico Police,” Pierluisi said.

From the start of the past weekend through press time on Tuesday, at least 18 homicides were reported.

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