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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor: Legislature must deal with La Parguera building dispute


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By Richard Gutiérrez

richardsanjuanstar@gmail.com


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia commented on Tuesday on the disputed building of a structure on property owned by in-laws of Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón in the La Parguera natural reserve in Lajas, to the effect that public policy in that area is a matter that must be handled by the island Legislature.


“I think it is a matter that the Legislative Assembly will have to address, because we have had more than 140 structures there for decades,” the governor said in response to questions from the press following a press conference in San Juan on the new digital vehicle registration process. “We don’t want any type of construction there; we don’t want the mangroves to be impacted. That at the very least, we don’t want discharge in the area either, again, that’s at the very least.”


“But right now, this has already been expressed by the [Natural and Environmental Resources] secretary, that those who thought there was some type of concession granted by the Department, that is not correct, no, that mechanism does not exist,” Pierluisi added.


As previously reported by the STAR, González Colón on Monday blasted Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) Secretary Anaís Rodríguez Vega for acting in what she said was an irresponsible manner following recent environmental protests targeting the resident commissioner’s in-laws’ property at La Parguera.


The resident commissioner also accused groups led by influencer Eliezer Molina of vandalism during the protests over alleged destruction of mangroves on the property. González Colón’s husband made certain claims to commonwealth and federal authorities on the matter.


González Colón asked the DNER secretary to stop acting irresponsibly when making public statements about investigations into the matter that have not been completed. She said Rodríguez Vega made public certain internal agency documents about mangrove destruction that have not been provided to the parties involved.


Rodríguez Vega responded to the accusations later on Monday.


“Our intervention was not a selective or irresponsible act, but rather a fulfillment of our duty as guardians of nature and the environment,” she said. “If any activity has been carried out without proper permission, it is our obligation to intervene, regardless of who owns the property in question. At the DNER, we treat all complaints and active cases with deep seriousness.”


Some political observers see the resident commissioner’s criticism of the DNER secretary as part of a pattern of challenging the actions of government agencies under Pierluisi that signals her intention to run for governor next year. According to local reports, González Colón has hired former legislator and Toa Baja mayor Aníbal Vega Borges as campaign manager.

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