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Rossello Denounces PDP Persecution Campaign

Island Reactivates Observer Status

President Declares Disaster Zones

PIP Warns Of More Political Dossiers

Navy Permit Decision Postponed

Vivoni Replaced


Rossello Denounces PDP Persecution Campaign

November 29th, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Senate President Antonio Fas Alzamora refuted former Gov. Pedro Rossello's accusations that the present administration has a campaign of persecution and to destroy works and reputations while saying that the former governor is "alienated from the reality of what is happening in Puerto Rico."

Fas Alzamora said Thursday that what Rossello said does not correspond to what is happening on the island, where he assured that no work is being sabotaged, and just Wednesday, Gov. Sila Calderon demonstrated it by placing the first stone of the Golden Triangle and recognizing that the project was initiated by the past administration.

Rossello denounced in published reports an alleged persecution campaign of civil rights by the present administration.

Rossello, who broke his year-long silence, said "the present situation causes me great indignation for the persecution and obsession of destroying reputations and works."

"During this first year, we have seen the Calderon administration's efforts to destroy the work that we left and the reputations of all those related to the previous administration," he said.

Island Reactivates Observer Status In Caribbean Community

November 29th, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Puerto Rico has reactivated its observer status in the 14-member Caribbean Community, part of the island's renewed efforts to integrate itself culturally and economically in the region, an official said Wednesday.

Although Puerto Rico gained observer status in 1990, its participation in the regional grouping was suspended when the New Progressive Party (NPP) was elected to power in 1992.

The NPP has traditionally been reluctant to pursue relations with foreign countries or regional groupings.

The current government of Gov. Sila Calderon, a Popular Democratic Party politician who took office in January, has been trying to reactivate Puerto Rico's links with the region, said Efrain Vazquez Vera, Puerto Rico's Auxiliary Undersecretary of State for International Affairs.

"Our participation was frozen, and what we have done is to reactivate it," Vazquez said. "We are happy because for us the Caribbean Community is the principal link with the independent Caribbean, especially with the English-speaking Caribbean."

He also pointed out that many Caribbean Community members bought Puerto Rican exports.

Bush Declares 10 Municipalities As Disaster Zones

November 29th, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. President George W. Bush declared 10 municipalities of the island as disaster zones due to the damages caused by heavy rains between Nov. 7 and 9.

The president's order provides for the coverage of 75% of the costs for the removal of debris, emergency services, and repairs to affected roads and public facilities, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Allbaugh said in a prepared statement.

The federal aid will go to the municipalities of Barranquitas, Bayamon, Ciales, Corozal, Jayuya, Juncos, Morovis, Naranjito, San Lorenzo, and Utuado.

PIP Officials Warn Of More Political Dossiers

By Proviana Colon Diaz

November 28th, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PUERTORICOWOW. All rights reserved.

Two high ranking officials of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) warned on Wednesday that the designation of Miguel Pereira as the island's new police superintendent could mean a return to the era of keeping intelligence dossiers of fellow Puerto Ricans based solely on their political beliefs.

The presumption of having such practice resurfacing is based on the fact that Pereira is the husband of FBI Special Agent in Charge of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Marlene Hunter.

"The governor has put the Puerto Rico Police and the FBI to live under the same roof," said PIP Vice President Maria De Lourdes Santiago.

Santiago denounced that for decades both agencies worked together in keeping political dossiers and in the persecution of pro independence followers.

Gov. Sila Calderon, who upon naming Pereira on Tuesday denied the existence of a conflict of interest, described Santiago's allegation as a "malicious perception."

"That is a malicious perception. There should not be any fear," Calderon said.

The reality, however, is that such collaboration between the local police and the FBI was proved with last year's release of thousands of dossiers kept by the FBI against pro independence followers.

Planning Board Postpones Decision Regarding Navy Permit

November 28th, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - The Planning Board extended the limit of time granted to local environmental agencies to present their position regarding the permit of the U.S. Navy to resume bombing on Vieques from January until May 2002, board chairman Hermenegildo Ortiz Quiñones said.

The agencies' deadline was Tuesday, but was extended until Dec. 3 following a meeting with the heads of the Environmental Quality Board, Gladys Gonzalez, and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Guillermo Rivera.

For his part, Vieques Commissioner Juan R. Fernandez said in published reports Wednesday that Ortiz Quiñones decided to grant additional time to the agencies to clear certain doubts regarding some points related to the Navy's permit.

Vivoni Replaced

By Iván Román | San Juan Bureau

November 28th, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ORLANDO SENTINEL. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Gov. Sila Calderon replaced the chief of Puerto Rico's beleaguered Police Department on Tuesday just hours after the latest corruption bust landed five state and municipal officers in jail on charges of protecting cocaine shipments.

Calderon appointed Police Superintendent Pierre Vivoni to a vacancy on the Circuit Court of Appeals. The new police superintendent is Port Authority Executive Director Miguel Pereira, a former assistant U.S. attorney.

Vivoni, a civil-rights activist, had been a Superior Court judge before taking charge of the Police Department in January.

Returning to the bench was Vivoni's idea, said Calderon, who maintained that her decision had nothing to do with the high murder rate, internal wars and corruption scandals that continue to trouble the 19,000-member police force.

"I think in every situation he acted correctly, and when he had to rectify something, he did," Calderon said. "He has all my trust. If not, I wouldn't be appointing him to a position that's even more sensitive than heading the Police Department."

Tuesday's arrests of three state police officers, two municipal officers from the city of Bayamon and four drug dealers were the latest in a series of scandals resulting from federal and local investigations.

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