Puerto Rico has dealt with its share of disasters in recent years. You may know its entire energy grid also qualifies as something of a disaster. Now, despite billions of U.S. tax dollars, there’s concern the system is on the verge of a total collapse, prompting the U.S. territory to declare a state of emergency.
Hurricanes Maria and Irma destroyed most of Puerto Rico’s power system in 2017. But it wasn’t much to begin with.
Manuel Laboy: Maria was essentially a huge wake up call.
Manuel Laboy heads up the island’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency.
You’ve had many hurricanes before, but that was the one that seemed to
really trigger this realization that we’d better fix all of this.
So it is kind of a blessing in disguise, certainly. The silver lining
opportunity is that we went through a very, very tough time. It cost us a
lot, including lives, and moving forward, looking forward, now we have
the chance to address something that we knew that 20 years ago, 30 years
ago, it’s something that we needed to address.
With Puerto Rico in bankruptcy, a financial oversight board approved hiring an American-Canadian consortium called LUMA Energy to deliver on the island’s energy makeover. The company took the reins June 1st.
Posted onDecember 9, 2021byifnm|Comments Off on No-Go Zones – World’s Toughest Places | Jamaica | Free Documentary
Jamaica: On the surface, it’s a tropical island paradise in the Caribbean. But, in spite of all the tranquility, Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The reason: Ghettos! And the worst of all of them: Mountain View. Anyone who sets foot here risks their life. Deadly gun battles and gang wars are just part of the daily routine. The many small communities here are in a state of constant war.
Comments Off on No-Go Zones – World’s Toughest Places | Jamaica | Free Documentary
Most of us have access to the basic essentials in life. We take being able to use an ATM for granted, that the trains won’t run out of petrol and be cancelled or that milk will be available in a shop when you visit. But the people of Cuba are not so lucky. They live under a different system and to be honest, it’s not working out well for them…So tell me, could you handle live under that system?
Comments Off on Could You Live In This Country? – Cuba (Video)
Posted onJanuary 16, 2018byifnm|Comments Off on More than 100 UN peacekeepers ran a child sex ring in Haiti. None were ever jailed
“Imagine if the UN was going to the United States and raping children and bringing cholera,” said one lawyer in Haiti, where UN peacekeepers face hundreds of allegations of child sex crimes.
In the ruins of a tropical hideaway where jetsetters once sipped rum under the Caribbean sun, the abandoned children tried to make a life for themselves. They begged and scavenged for food, but they never could scrape together enough to beat back the hunger, until the UN peacekeepers moved in a few blocks away.
The men who came from a faraway place and spoke a strange language offered the Haitian children cookies and other snacks. Sometimes they gave them a few dollars. But the price was high: The Sri Lankan peacekeepers wanted sex from girls and boys as young as 12.
“I did not even have breasts,” said a girl, known as V01 — Victim No. 1. She told UN investigators that over the next three years, from ages 12 to 15, she had sex with nearly 50 peacekeepers, including a “Commandant” who gave her 75 cents. Sometimes she slept in UN trucks on the base next to the decaying resort, whose once-glamorous buildings were being overtaken by jungle.
Posted onJanuary 13, 2018byifnm|Comments Off on DML on location: Islanders don’t want the illegal Haitians (Video)
In the video clip, I ask a local islander how he feels about the illegal immigration taking place in his home island. He says he hates it. He doesn’t want the Haitians to enter because he says “they destroy the place, they live in huts and work for peanuts — making it near impossible for legal workers to earn a fair wage.”
I can’t get into specifics, and I will not divulge my location, but in short I have been filming this week for “They Come to America 4.” Believe it or not, the location I decided to film is getting crushed by Haitian illegal immigrants who are destroying what was once a paradise island.
“There are more illegal Haitians than there are native islanders here,” a local told me during my travels in uncovering how illegal immigration takes shape in other areas not far from the USA.
The focus of my investigation was how Haitians are fleeing Haiti and taking advantage of immigration systems that are lax, e.g. the USA. I had no idea when focusing on this aspect of immigration that President Trump would have made the statements he did about Haiti this week. Let me say this, the islanders I am speaking to say Trump is spot on correct.
Posted onJanuary 12, 2018byifnm|Comments Off on Puerto Rico Orders Probe of Power Gear Stockpiled During Rebuild Effort
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló asks local Justice Department to investigate whether there was criminal intent to deprive island of critical power grid supplies.
Puerto Rico’s governor asked justice officials to investigate allegations that critical power grid supplies were stockpiled instead of put to use rebuilding the U.S. territory’s infrastructure following a devastating recent hurricane.
Posted onOctober 19, 2017byifnm|Comments Off on FBI Investigates Puerto Rican Officials Distributing FEMA Aid Based On ‘Loyalty’ (Video)
The FBI San Juan Field Office announced Oct. 13 it had received “numerous” complaints that FEMA aid packages were mishandled and fraudulently distributed. The agency is investigating charges in six of the island’s 78 municipalities.
The FBI is investigating allegations that Puerto Rican officials are passing out Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supplies based on “political loyalty,” according to Congressional letters sent to the head of each department.
Three GOP representatives and Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico sent letters Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FEMA Administrator William Long requesting a briefing on Puerto Rican aid and recovery efforts by Oct. 23.
“With so many residents still in grave need of basic supplies, it is essential that assistance from the federal government is provided in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” the letters said. “The public’s confidence in the integrity of FEMA’s distribution of emergency supplies is also imperative.”
“Allegations that local elected officials are distributing life-sustaining FEMA emergency supplies based on political loyalty is deeply disturbing,” the representatives added. “Any persons misappropriating FEMA emergency supplies should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
By now you’re familiar with the sights of devastation from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. What you may not know is just how bad things were for the U.S. territory before the storm hit. It’s a story of corruption and waste and—Puerto Rican officials say—a lesson for all of us.
Alberto Martinez was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He recorded these pictures after Hurricane Maria.
Alberto Martinez: Puerto Rico was already suffering a financial crisis, now it’s been wrecked by Hurricane Maria.
Martinez also showed us around Puerto Rico over the summer before Hurricane Maria. For all intents and purposes, already bankrupt.
Alberto Martinez: This is the Ponce de Leon Avenue on Santurce. My school is on this avenue…
A college professor, Martinez is planning to include Puerto Rico’s example in a course at the University of Texas on money and corruption.
Alberto Martinez: Now it’s just a bunch of shut down storefronts with graffiti.
He blames more than a decade of poor tax and business policies, and big banks that convinced politicians to borrow like there was no tomorrow.
During an interview on WAPA Radio, Rodriguez criticized two officials who failed to deliver needed supplies to their constituents, Metro PR reported.
“This morning we received information from a town on the Island where a person close to the municipal administration was asking one of our federal agents that the supplies that were there could not be touched because they were for his mayor,” said Rodríguez, noting that the case is currently under investigation.
She added she also learned from another source on the island that an official was hoarding supplies for residents “who had voted for that person.”
Posted onOctober 2, 2017byifnm|Comments Off on ‘Inept’ Puerto Rican government ‘riddled with corruption’: CEO
Jorge Rodriguez, 49, is the Harvard-educated CEO of PACIV, an international engineering firm based in Puerto Rico that works with the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. The Puerto Rican-born engineer says he has dispatched 50 engineers to help FEMA rehabilitate the devastated island — a commonwealth of the United States — after Hurricane Maria. He refuses to work with the local government, which he called inept and riddled with corruption.
For the last 30 years, the Puerto Rican government has been completely inept at handling regular societal needs, so I just don’t see it functioning in a crisis like this one. Even before the hurricane hit, water and power systems were already broken. And our $118 billion debt crisis is a result of government corruption and mismanagement.
The governor Ricardo Rossello has little experience. He’s 36 and never really held a job and never dealt with a budget. His entire administration is totally inexperienced and they have no clue how to handle a crisis of this magnitude.
For instance, shortly after the hurricane hit, the government imposed a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am and then changed it. Now, it’s 7 pm to 5 am, and makes no sense. The curfew has prevented fuel trucks from transporting their loads. These trucks should have been allowed to run for 24 hours to address our needs, but they have been stalled, and so we have massive lines at gas stations and severe shortages of diesel at our hospitals and supermarkets.