by Kevin Garcia, Puerto Rican Cultural Center
On Wednesday March 19th at the Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, over 60 members of the Puerto Rican Agenda, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and activists heard Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, Ald. Roberto Maldonado along with other Puerto Rican elected officials held a press conference on the Puerto Rican fiscal and humanitarian crisis. ASPIRA of IL Board Chair Fernando Grillo and PRCC ED José E. López also participated. Jessie Fuentes, Puerto Rican Agenda co-chair, emceed.
Under U.S. law, cities and towns can file for bankruptcy, but states and territories can’t. Puerto Rico is a US territory. During the press conference, Gutiérrez demanded that that the U.S. should be held responsible for the debt that has affected Puerto Rico and its citizens. He, along with Maldonado spoke about the legislation enacted by Congress in 1984, which denied bankruptcy for Puerto Rico’s municipal governments, agencies and bureaus, government; and said this cannot happen again and that Congress has to hear the voice of the Puerto Rican people. Ald. Gilbert Villegas and Ariel Reboyras, and Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. also spoke briefly, giving their perspective on the crisis.