1.08.2007

Murdering Puerto Rico's Epiphany

I found this unfortunate story in today's Boricua Diaspora list. It's an AP story on the 7 murders that were committed in Puerto Rico on Three Kings Day alone. Yes, 7 killings in one day—and it was on the Epiphany, a day celebrate the 'shining forth' or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus.! It used to be a joyous day in Puerto Rico for parrandas and the singing of villancicos.

Previously, I've noted Puerto Rico's high crime rate; how the island has become a major staging area and distribution point for Caribbean and Colombian drug cartels; and how the island truly does have a border security problem.

But exactly when did the Epiphany in Puerto Rico become a day for drive-by shootings and brutal murders?

The article mentions that there were 739 murders in PR last year alone.

Check out how PR stacks up against New York City in terms of the 2006 murders:

Puerto Rico had 739 murders vs. City of New York's 578. Puerto Rico has 1 murder for each 5,277 residents; NYC has 1 murder for each of its 13,989 persons. Finally, Puerto Rico has 14 murders for each 100,000 person; while NYC had just 7.

And even sadder if the fact that the murder problem is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, something is really wrong in what used to be called Isla del Encanto.

My view is that due to its indecision in regards to the status question, and the tsunami of changes being wrought around the world, Puerto Rico is, and every becomes, more and more at risk of ruin. And it doesn't help the island that its leaders have had their heads in the sand for the last 4 to 5 decades.