Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Puerto Rico Opposition Challenges Fortuno To Enforce State of Emergency

Puerto Rico Opposition Challenges Fortuno To Enforce State of Emergency

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Violence in Puerto Rico has already claimed close to 500 lives in 2012 alone, according to a report by a Latin American security site.
Insight Crime reported that Puerto Rican gubernatorial candidate Alejandro García Padilla has challenged current governor Luis Fortuño, calling for a state of emergency in response to the wave of violence that erupted in the past year. Puerto Rico, a main conduit for drugs moving from Latin America into the United States, has seen a recent spike in drug-related murders.
García Padilla is the leader of the Common Wealth’s Popular Democratic Party (PPD).
The Puerto Rican publication El Nuevo Día reported that García Padilla wants Fortuño to increase the work of government agencies by enforcing 24-hour shifts and canceling vacations.
Of the 1,136 homicides recorded last year, the majority took place on the street, with 90 percent being caused by gun fire. If the current crisis continues as it has, García Padilla estimates that another 1,000 Puerto Ricans could lose their lives before the end of 2012, García Padilla said.
The violence is largely connected to drug trafficking and his opponents have accused Fortuño of focusing more on political favors than the drug crisis. The gubernatorial hopeful claims that although, major highway, Román Baldorioty de Castro was equipped with 1,000 security cameras, none of them have been activated.
García Padilla's statements come four months before the November gubernatorial elections. In March, El Nuevo Día released a poll stating that the majority of Puerto Ricans see García Padilla as the "new face" of hope and change for Puerto Rico.

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Alejandro García Takes Lead in Puerto Rico Governor Elections: Poll

Puerto Rican gubernatorial candidate Alejandro Garcia Padilla (c) expresses his opposition on Feb. 19 to the gas pipeline that the administration of Luis Fortuño plans to build. (EFE)
The leader of Puerto Rico's main opposition PPD, Alejandro García Padilla, would prevail over incumbent Gov. Luis Fortuño by 38 percent to 30 percent if the election were today, according to a survey published in El Nuevo Día.
The San Juan daily's poll shows Juan Dalmau of the small Puerto Rican Independence Party with 4 percent and two other candidates with 1 percent each.
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Thirteen percent of respondents said they would not vote in November and 12 percent were undecided.
The newspaper took an identical survey in March 2011 that showed García Padilla leading Fortuño by 47 percent to 25 percent.
Seven months later, the opposition leader was the choice of 39 percent while Fortuño obtained 33 percent of voter preference.
El Nuevo Día said that the opposition tactic of spotlighting Garcia Padilla more in public discussions about the island's problems has given a slight boost to his lead over Fortuño, who is seeking a second four-year term.
The daily's analysis of the poll result said that García Padilla was favored by being a "new face" and the spokesman of hope and change for a territory plunged in a recession that has lasted five years and with a runaway crime rate that each weekend brings violent death to around 10 people.

Papal Visit to Latin America 

The gubernatorial election will be held Nov. 6, the same day Puerto Ricans go to vote in a non-binding referendum on the island's future political relationship with the United States.
While Fortuño's party, the PNP, favors full statehood, the PPD advocates an enhanced version of Puerto Rico's current commonwealth status.

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Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/03/28/opposition-candidate-in-puerto-rico-governor-election-gains-ground/#ixzz20sxIBNYp

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