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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Protesters at Aguadilla construction site say guard fired blanks; at least 2 injured


At least two protesters were reportedly injured during a confrontation with private guards at a construction site in Aguadilla that is said to be in violation of environmental laws.


By THE STAR STAFF


At least one masked private guard fired blanks Sunday against protesters in Aguadilla who are demanding a stop to certain construction projects in the maritime zone that they say hurt the environment.


At least two protesters were reportedly injured. One of them is a woman, according to videos posted by former independent gubernatorial candidate Eliezer Molina in his Facebook page, and the other is a man.


The incident occurred in the context of ongoing protests being staged by a number of demonstrators against the construction of various projects that, they say, are destroying the Las Golondrinas cave and a pelican habitat. The protesters have also established camps.


The owner of the property, the protesters said, is a developer who is allegedly violating an array of regulations, and has acquired private land from various residents of the area.


The Department of Natural Resources, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and other agencies have said the construction is illegal.


No private guard, at press time, had been arrested or identified. Protesters were shouting and carrying signs during the incident.


Citizens Victory Movement Rep. Mariana Nogales Molinelli said some 15 protesters were hurt when private guards used pepper spray to break up the protest.


After the incident, police mobilized dozens of agents and buses to the property.


“We have photographs of the bullets and of the private guard who fired,” Nogales Molinelli said. “We are waiting for them to preserve the scene [for evidence], because it has not been done.”

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