The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico was created by the Obama administration’s Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or Promesa as a way to deal with Puerto Rico’s economic crisis, which includes a debt of over 70 Billion dollars. Many activists and analysts note that it is the colonial condition of Puerto Rico that has created the crisis and the U.S. should be accountable for the debt. This control board named Jose Carrión III as chairman, clearing the way to officially take over financial decision-making from Puerto Rico’s government. A Republican, Carrión was recommended by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). He also presides over the Puerto Rico subsidiary of HUB International, a global insurance brokerage company. His appointment is controversial as he is the brother-in-law of Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s non-voting member in Congress.
At the demonstration, Roberto Múkaro Borrero stated the “imposition of this financial control board by the United States violates Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination.” Borrero continued stating that “Promesa and along with the continuance of the Jones Act are clear proof of the island’s colonial status.” Borrero is a community leader representing the Guainia Taíno Tribe and is the current President of the United Confederation of Taíno People. Borrero continued stating that a specific area of concern with the legislation is that “it gives the board the power to expedite approvals of energy and other projects they deem critical, which could have severe consequences to the island’s environment if the projects are not evaluated properly.”
Puerto Rico’s central government, three retirement systems (teachers, judicial and employees), university (UPR) and all its public corporations, including the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority and Electric Power Authority, are now under the immediate control of the new entity. The board also has oversight over the restructuring negotiations with creditors. The governor of Puerto Rico holds a non-voting position on the board, In addition, the board and its employees are exempt from liability claims.
There is no information as to when the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico will meet next.