After much pressure, Telenovela star Osvaldo Rios-Alonso announced this week that he has withdrawn from this Sunday’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade as Padrino International. “It has never been my intention to divide a community,” said Rios-Alonso in a statement.
The 49-year-old actor had been elected by the parade’s board members last May, causing outrage among Latino community members and city officials because of his criminal past. Back in 2003, Rios-Alonso was convicted of domestic violence and served three months in prison. "Domestic violence is a destructive cycle. Lives are destroyed and futures are damaged by this horrendous crime. We simply cannot remain silent on this issue," the Puerto Rican and Latino Council said in a statement backed by members Melissa Mark-Viverito, Annabel Palma, Rosie Mendez, Julissa Ferreras, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Diana Reyna and state Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo when he was initially appointed. After Rios-Alonso declined to participate in the annual parade the women followed up with another statement saying they “would like to thank Mr. Rios for coming to his senses and making the right decision on this matter, “ but were disapponted that he didn’t address his past. “Mr. Rios’ statement represents yet another wasted opportunity to convey to domestic abusers in the Puerto Rican community and in all communities that domestic violence is a serious crime that has serious repercussions and is not easily forgotten.”
When Latina.com contacted the office of Madelyn Lugo, National Puerto Rican Day Parade chairperson, they declined to comment.
There's still plenty of reason to celebrate! Confirmed to perform at the 53rd annual National Puerto Rican day Parade in NYC on this Sunday are Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, and Hector El Bambino.