By The Star Staff
The flags at the Ponce mayor’s office and all municipal facilities in the southern coastal city were placed at half-mast at 9 a.m Wednesday by order of the interim mayor, Marlese Sifre Rodríguez, who declared three days of mourning for the death of journalist Ramón Enrique Torres Guzmán.
“As interim mayor of Ponce, I join the grief that overwhelms the people of Ponce and Puerto Rico for the death of Ramón Enrique, in solidarity with the Torres Martínez family, in the face of this painful loss,” Sifre Rodriguez said in a written statement. “To his wife Maribel, his children Layza, Xavier and Enrique, my deepest condolences and a hug of solidarity. Even though the advanced state of his illness and his long fight against the throat cancer that afflicted him was public knowledge, his loss hits hard for the people of Ponce. For us, Ramón was not only the distinguished television journalist of our city, a gentleman of the news, an anchor par excellence, but for many he was Tito, the friend, the fan of the Lions, the collaborator and adviser.”
“We are talking about a family that is very dear to our Administration and the people of Ponce, so at the beginning of the working day I issued the order to place all the flags in municipal facilities at half-mast and declared three days of mourning in their honor,” the interim mayor added. “He deserved nothing less.”
Before his arrival at Telemundo in 1976, Torres Guzmán stood out on Ponce radio, specifically on the now-defunct Radio Señorial WZBS, 1490AM. There he shared space with leading figures of radio until he was recruited to make the leap to the island level. However, he was always proud to be from Ponce and expressed it openly wherever he appeared.
“Without a doubt, his earthly loss leaves a huge void in the media,” Sifre Rodríguez said. “Ramón belongs to a generation of journalists who lived through the golden age of our national journalism and is part of a lineage of journalists that is no longer repeated. We are talking about a man who started in television under the tutelage of Aníbal González Irizarry and worked one-on-one with great male figures of Puerto Rican journalism such as Jorge Rivera Nieves, Enrique “Kike” Cruz and Guillermo José Torres, also from Ponce.”
“Meanwhile, his dedication and fanaticism on a large scale for his Lions, especially in basketball, was typical of how dedicated we Ponceños are to our sports teams,” the interim mayor added. “That pride we feel for what is here, for those red and black colors, and that is born from the depths of our being. This city and the people of Ponce will eternally hold an unpayable debt to Ramón Enrique Torres.”