• The San Juan Daily Star

PIP lacks protocol for handling sexual & workplace harrassment, VP says

Puerto Rican Independence Party Vice President & Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) Vice President María de Lourdes Santiago acknowledged Thursday that her political party does not have a protocol or process for dealing with cases of alleged sexual and workplace harassment.

The PIP created a special committee this week to investigate allegations of harassment against one of its members.

“We as an institution do not have a protocol that establishes the specific process for claims,” she said in a radio interview on Thursday.

The PIP vice president also confirmed that the alleged aggressor pointed out by several women in social media works in her Senate office. She said she will not take action until the investigation of the “investigative committee” is concluded.

Several women denounced through Twitter alleged situations of workplace harassment and defamation by municipal legislator and former PIP candidate for mayor of Aguadilla Eliezer Ríos Santiago.

Allegedly, individuals within the PIP who are aware of the situation have contacted the women privately to try to prevent them from making their claims public. However, those efforts were said to have not been fruitful since the women revealed part of what they experienced while they were active in the party.

One of the women, identified in Twitter as GDQ, complained that Christian Wolper Gaztambide, who heads the PIP in Guaynabo, invalidated what she had said.

“But I will not be silenced,” she said.

Ríos Santiago was vocal in Aguadilla earlier this year, denouncing alleged ecological damage to Tamarindo Beach due to the cutting down of trees that contaminated the water.

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