Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño Calls in National Guard to Counter Crime

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The governor of Puerto Rico announced this week that he was activating the National Guard in the small island commonwealth. The measure was intended to be a temporary move to help curb rising crime rates while new police forces are recruited and trained.

"Nobody, especially me, can be happy with the number of killings last year. We have to do much more to stop this," Gov. Luis Fortuño declared during his State of the Commonwealth speech.

2009 was the third worst year on record for murders on the island of Puerto Rico. While the island only has about 4 million full-time residents, nearly 900 were killed last year. Government officials blame much of the violence on the recent drug traffic that has been flooding the island, making it one of the most violent places in America.

Training for the National Guard troops begins this week, but it isn't clear when they will begin patrols. Puerto Rico Guard's public affairs officer, Capt. Paul Dahlen, said that 1,000 soldiers will join police patrolling in San Juan, Bayamon, Carolina and Ponce.

But the ACLU's William Ramirez doesn't believe that the additional troops will help solve the violent crime dilemma, "The problem is not numbers. It seems like there are enough men on the streets. It's a matter of how you move them around."

 

 

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Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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