The San Juan Daily Star
PIP proposes resolutions to reject privatization of Camuy Caverns
By John McPhaul
After revelations that the Authority for Public-Private Partnerships is working on a plan to privatize the Caverns of the Camuy River, the delegation of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) in the Legislature composed of Rep. Denis Márquez Lebrón, and Senator María de Lourdes Santiago, announced the filing of the concurrent resolutions, 62 of the House and 44 of the Senate, so that the Legislature expresses the most energetic rejection of any proposal to privatize the Caverns.
“It is outrageous that once again they intend to privatize, as the recipe to correct government deficiencies, the Caverns Park of the Camuy River. The responsibility of the government is to preserve our essential assets, so it merits that the Legislative Assembly strongly reject the delivery of this important asset of the country and the northern area,” said Márquez Lebrón.
The pro-independence legislators specified that the Camuy River Cavern Park is the largest cave system in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world, which also has the largest underground river in the world. The caves, they added, cover the municipalities of Camuy (where it has its entrance to the Park) Hatillo and Lares.
“After the passage of Hurricane Maria, it has not been possible to resume the full operation of the Park, so the deterioration of its infrastructure has continued due to lack of use and maintenance. Consequently, the loss of opportunities that it can offer for citizens in their effort to recover the socioeconomic conditions and activities that depended on the activity of the Park continues, “ said Márquez Lebrón.
For her part, the Senate minority leader of the PIP said that “the pattern that the government and the Fiscal Control Board have designed is evident: they abandon schools, the electrical system and public spaces such as those under the care of the DRNA, to get the privatization card out of the sleeve. There is also a lack of understanding that the primary responsibility is the protection of resources, the preservation of the integrity of the natural heritage.”