UPR to hold seminars on gender violence

By John McPhaul

The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) will hold a series of educational activities for the university community and the general public, as part of efforts to promote equity and eradicate gender violence in Puerto Rican society, in accordance with Executive Order 2021-013, which establishes a state of emergency caused by the chronic social problem.

UPR President Dr. Jorge Haddock announced the activities Tuesday amid an uptick in gender violence, including the high-profile slayings of two women at the hands of their male partners last week and three arrests for incidents of gender violence over the past two days.

“During the past few days, the people of Puerto Rico have been shocked to observe gender violence in its worst manifestation,” Haddock said. “At the University of Puerto Rico we repudiate gender violence and we stand in solidarity with the victims and their families. These facts make clear the need for all sectors of civil society to take a proactive stance and develop forceful actions, from different areas, to combat this social evil.”

As the main educational center in Puerto Rico, the UPR has expert professionals on the subject of human behavior and gender violence, so from that experience and knowledge the university aspires to develop an institutional educational project that serves as an example and that will have an impact on Puerto Rican society to eradicate gender-based violence, Haddock said.

The university president noted that the cycle of events will begin Thursday, May 13 at 10 a.m. until 12 noon, with the first discussion on gender violence, in which basic concepts such as sexual diversity, gender violence, their manifestations and strategies for addressing this public health problem will be discussed. It will be moderated by experts on gender equity issues.

Among the expert resources that will be participating in this dialogue are Coraly León Morales, executive director of the Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos; Vilma González Castro, executive director of the Coordinadora Paz para las Mujeres; Dr. Edna Pacheco Acosta, Title IX coordinator of the UPR Medical Sciences Campus, and Dr. Caleb Esteban Reyes, a professor at the School of Neural and Behavioral Sciences at Ponce Health Sciences University.

The discussion will be held through the Zoom platform, and requires a pre-registration registration at: on or before Wednesday, May 12.

“I urge the entire community university to participate in this important event, organized by Title IX coordinators, designated to comply with federal law to ensure that staff, students, contractors and visitors are treated with fairness and respect for human dignity,” Haddock added. “The university community is a reflection of our society, so we know that the changes that we achieve through education and initiatives that promote a culture of peace and harmony will have an effect on the quality of life on the island.”

Arrests made in 3 cases of gender violence

Meanwhile, authorities filed three charges of gender violence Monday night and Tuesday.

Charges for gender violence due to non-compliance with protection orders were filed against Ángel Alvarado Ortiz, 49, a resident of Barranquitas, police said Tuesday. Judge Cyndia Irizarry of the Arecibo Superior Court determined cause for the aforementioned crime and set bond at $25,000 against Alvarado Ortiz, who could not provide bail, for which he was admitted to the Bayamón jail.

Also, a man identified as Joel O. Cruz Candelaria, 26, was accused of domestic violence, aggravated abuse and violation of Law 246, or the Law for the Safety, Well-Being and Protection of Minors, the police also reported Tuesday.

The case was presented before Judge Juan Portella, also of the Arecibo Superior Court, who after hearing the evidence determined cause for arrest for the aforementioned crimes.

Portella set bond at $40,000, which Cruz Candelaria provided through a private guarantor. The accused was released under electronic supervision until the preliminary hearing on May 26.

Charges for violations of another island domestic violence law were filed on Monday night, in San Juan Court, against Leonardo Sánchez Crisotimo, 39, for an incident that took place on Sunday in the Puerto Nuevo urbanization of San Juan, according to police.

In that case Judge Glenn Velázquez Morales set bail at $15,000, which Sánchez Crisotimo posted.

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