Has the Isla del Encanto become the Isla de la Brutalidad? A report released this month by the American Civil Liberties Union reveals that the Puerto Rico Police Department is plagued by a culture of corruption, and details abuses including use of excessive and lethal force against civilians, violent suppression of peaceful protestors, and failure to protect victims of domestic violence. According to the ACLU, "police brutality is pervasive and systemic, island-wide and ongoing."
Puerto Rico's rate of non-violent and violent crime is skyrocketing.
"With 1,130 murders in 2011—nearly three violent deaths per day—the number of murders in 2011 was the highest in Puerto Rico’s history, while the previous year saw the second-highest number of murders in Puerto Rico’s history," the ACLU reports. "Puerto Rico ranks 19th in the world based on its per capita murder rate, and in 2009, Puerto Rico’s murder rate was higher than each of the 50 states, and nearly double the rate of the next highest, the state of Louisiana."
Did you know if Puerto Rico became a state, it would be the poorest in the Union?
In response, the ACLU is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene.
What do you think? As we see an uptick in violence in Puerto Rico, should concerned Americans expect mainland standards to apply on these issues? Is the U.S. doing enough to uphold justice in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico? And, what does this issue say about the broader relationship between Puerto Rico and the mainland?
Join us this Wednesday, June 27th, at 4pmEDT for a live discussion on whether or not the U.S. should intervene in Puerto Rico. If you're interested in participating on camera, please email Claire.Walla@huffingtonpost.com with your name, contact information, and point of view. Until then, let us know your thoughts on this issue.