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Flags will fly at half mast to honor slain federal officer Maceda


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Sunday declared a day of mourning for the death of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer Michel Maceda, who died in the line of duty during an intervention on the high seas off the coast of Cabo Rojo last Thursday.


The flags will fly at half mast at all government agencies today.


“Puerto Rico appreciates the work and sacrifice of those who fight daily to keep our streets free of drugs,” the governor said in a written statement. “In this war against drug trafficking, we will never lower our guard. Our federal and state authorities will continue to work with integrity, courage and bravery, as officer Michel O. Maceda did, to stop the illegal entry of drugs to the island and combat this social evil that does so much damage. We join the pain of the family of officer Maceda, as well as that of his colleagues from Customs and Border Protection, in the face of this terrible tragedy and we pray for his rest in eternal peace.”


Federal authorities filed charges against Edgardo Luis Matos Santos, Osvaldo Hernández Camacho and Nelson Rivera Suárez in the incident.


The subjects were arrested by special agents of the FBI San Juan Office for events that occurred last Thursday morning when CBP agents intervened with a suspicious vessel that was sailing toward the coast of Cabo Rojo.


CBP agents were carrying out a routine inspection of the boat in which the defendants were sailing, along with other subjects, when an exchange of gunfire broke out between the agents and crew members. In addition to Maceda, who was killed in the incident, two CBP agents were shot during the exchange. They were transferred to the Río Piedras Medical Center, where they are receiving treatment.

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