Protest hits lack of Puerto Rico gov’t response after quake

By Seth Galinsky
February 10, 2020
Protest hits lack of Puerto Rico gov’t response after quake
La Perla del Sur/Jason Rodríguez Grafal

“Just like with Hurricane Maria in 2017, the government is acting too slow in the wake of the earthquake,” Mildred Laboy, a teacher and leader of the Arecma community organization, told the Militant from Humacao in the U.S. colony of Puerto Rico, Jan. 29. “It’s the people who are providing aid.”

Three weeks after the Jan. 6 quake at least 240,000 students are still out of school, because their buildings were damaged or the government has not yet certified that they’re safe. Some 5,000 are still living in tent cities in the hard-hit south. “And the mayor of Ponce says that people are ‘delighted’ to be living in tents!” Laboy said.

When a warehouse full of undistributed aid was found Jan. 19 in Ponce — some of it stored since Maria! — hundreds protested there (above) and thousands in San Juan. “It’s incredible,” Laboy said. “They were hiding the aid.”