Economic Crises in Boriken (Puerto Rico)

Boriken/Puerto Rico (UCTP Taino News) - Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño has implemented widespread job cuts affecting all sectors of the island's population. In the midst of Puerto Rico's worsening economic crises, Fortuño plans promote the privatization of basic infrastructural services such as electricity, water, and the education system.

Reports estimate that nearly 20,000 civil servants already have or will lose their jobs. Analysts note that the loss of jobs in the government sector will affect similar losses in the private sector.

The island's cultural patrimony is one area that will be particularly impacted by job losses. Reports indicate that museums and national parks under the control of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) such as the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center will now be forced to close. These institutions will not only lose staff for daily operations but collections and archives are now potentially at risk without proper supervision and controls.

In the form of several recent amendment proposals to controversial "Law 7", ICP President Marisol Rodriguez supported Governor Fortuño's plan to do away with the protective functions of the Institute's mandate. The result of these proposals would facilitate development projects that are expected to have an adverse affect on the island's national patrimony. Opponents state that these amendments are in clear violation of a 60 year law that created the ICP protections in the first place.

The Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos, a local Taino organization has proposed a volunteer initiative to the Institute to keep Caguana open.

In response to the current economic crises and the administration's privatization policies, diverse workers unions as well as community and student organizations plan to unite in a mass National General Strike throughout the Puerto Rico on the 15th of October.

UCTPTN 10.14.2009

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