Community leaders express dismay over distrust in electoral results

By John McPhaul

Community leaders from various municipalities in and outside of San Juan expressed dismay on Tuesday at what they said is a general distrust in the electoral results and in democratic processes in general.

“We, the leaders of different communities, are very concerned about fraud, the way it affects Puerto Rican democracy, and the way in which the importance of these situations has not been given to them because we are saying that they are mere irregularities,” said Carmen Villanueva Castro, a community leader of the South Hill Brothers Community of Río Piedras in San Juan.

Leaders from the Caño Martín Peña, Barrio Obrero Marina and Trastalleres communities in Santurce, Buena Vista in Hato Rey, Valle Hill in Canóvanas, Río Blanco in Naguabo and Buenos Aires in Caguas, among others, joined to express their shared concerns.

“We demand that any case of deceased people who have requested a vote in advance or while bedridden be immediately referred to the pertinent authorities, and that any vote cast fraudulently be verified and invalidated,” Villanueva Castro said. “Furthermore, we demand that the State Elections Commission immediately publish the lists of those who voted in the 2020 elections so that we can identify as citizens that there are no similar cases in our communities.”

The community leaders said such actions are necessary to bolster trust in the institutions whose purpose is to ensure the political will of the majority of voters, and those that have the ministerial duty of criminally prosecuting such prohibited conduct as crime in the penal and electoral codes.

They were making their statements, they said, in the context of reports in the press and on social networks involving denunciations of actions that, if true, constitute electoral fraud.

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