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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Hatillo mayor laments slaying, other incidents at town festival

Hatillo Mayor Carlos Román Román

By The Star Staff

Hatillo Mayor Carlos Román Román lamented on Thursday the incidents that occurred during the town’s celebration of the Festival of Masks, in which one person died and three others were injured.

“I deeply regret the situation that occurred yesterday, Wednesday, December 28, during the celebration of the Festival of Masks, in which one person died in an incident that is still under investigation by the authorities,” the mayor said. “The call by the Cultural Center Organizing Committee as well as the municipal administration was to enjoy the festival in a pleasant and convivial atmosphere. What happened, in addition to being regrettable, tarnishes the festival, which is characterized by promoting and preserving our customs and traditions as a people.”

According to the police, a man was reported slain and another person was wounded by gunfire in different locations in the town.

“Once again, we regret what happened and reiterate our deepest condolences to the Pérez Estremera family, for whom we extend a hug in solidarity,” Román Román said.

Among the reported incidents: five people fell from floats, two car accidents occurred along with an accident involving a pedestrian, a person injured a hand after performing mechanical work on a float, and another person suffered a health-related emergency.

All were transported to different nearby hospitals for treatment.

Meanwhile, Highway Patrol Division agents from the Arecibo region issued 177 tickets for the violation of Traffic Law 22, two motorbikes were seized, two people were arrested for controlled substances and gun law violations, two guns were seized, and two people were arrested in a state of intoxication and in possession of two bags of marijuana.

At the same time, according to data offered by the president of the Cultural Center of Hatillo, which coordinates the festival, 190 dancing couples and around 5,000 runners were officially registered, which shows an increase in the number of participants when compared to last year. Recorded incidents were fewer in number compared to previous years. In general terms, the organizers noted, the festival proceeded in an orderly manner with an estimated participation of 60,000 people from throughout the island and abroad.

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