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Guess our original blog about Puerto Rico not becoming the 51st state from a few months ago has been circulating the political circles in Puerto Rico and the United States, since the comments continue to trickle in. This is our favorite one of the week from reader Bruce R. Harris:

Americans will never accept a flag with 51 stars in it

“I have a question for you we don’t pay fed taxes and that is true, if we become a state we will. Now you mention that against us, but where in the US Constitution says that a US Citizen can not vote because it do not paid federal taxes?” Israel

My posts are answers to one of your faithful, yet ignorant followers. I’m just surprised you did not provide an answer to Israels’ question. Is it because you are not very familiar with US history, and the why’s of how things are supposed to be accomplished in Congress?

Spreading bad poop is not the way to get people together. If you want to be taken as a serious mediator by people of all sides of the issues then provide only factual and truthful comments all of the time. And this statement below will win you absolutely no points from most of Americans, including many of my latino friends.

“So now that you have the history of this politically charged debate (it has basically been the respective rallying cry between the PPD and the PNP), I still say this: In today’s America, a place where anti-Latino sentiment towards illegal immigrants and legal citizens has never been stronger, why would Puerto Rico, a proud country with ties to both the United States and Latin America, want to become the 51st state? Even if it did (and the current governor Luis Fortuño is a strong advocate of statehood), the America we know today would never welcome it.”

Ok, so we are now accused of spreading “bad poop” but we will let Bruce in on a thing or two:

  1. This blog is NOT a moderator of all sides. If you know the history of this blog, you would know that we do not support statehood for Puerto Rico.
  2. Bruce, we have NO CLUE what you mean about “taxation without representation,” because the reality is that Puerto Rico DOES NOT PAY FEDERAL TAXES but still has a non-voting representative in the US Congress. Your argument makes no sense. Technically, Puerto Rico has minimal representation in Congress, although it is non-voting. Also, the American Revolution had to do with NOT BECOMING part of the British Empire; your logic is reversed here. If anything, the US would understand if Puerto Rico would choose to secede from the US.
  3. Last time we checked, more US Latinos we know feel that Puerto Rico would benefit from a more realistic political arrangement with the United States, such as free association or (gasp) independence.
  4. Here is what the Fortuñistas cannot answer: even if a non-binding plebiscite favors statehood, the FINAL AUTHORITY of Puerto Rico’s status is the US Congress and right now, in the era of extreme right vs. left politics in the US, very few people in Congress would have the courage to say that Puerto Rico (and the $19 billion dollars per year it would cost to maintain it) should become a state.
Bruce, keep drinking your Fortuño juice. And we still don’t get what you mean by Israel. Last time we checked, Israel’s situation is not even close to Puerto Rico’s. Actually, Palestine’s situation is a bit more similar than the island’s.

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In what will be seen as a major blow to the administration of Republican pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuño, the United States Justice Department will release a 116-page report today that will accuse the Puerto Rican police force, the second largest force in the United States, of police abuse and major civil rights violations.

The New York Times published an article today that reveals several points about the report. It is clear that the Justice Department will not be diplomatic in its choice of words for the island’s leadership, which was responsible for sending police during student protests at the University of Puerto Rico earlier this year and in 2010.

As the article states:

The report, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, says the 17,000-officer force routinely conducts illegal searches and seizures without warrants. It accuses the force of a pattern of attacking nonviolent protesters and journalists in a manner “designed to suppress the exercise of protected First Amendment rights.”

And it says investigators “uncovered troubling evidence” that law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico appear to routinely discriminate against people of Dominican descent and “fail to adequately police sex assault and domestic violence” cases — including spousal abuse by fellow officers.

“Unfortunately,” the report found, “far too many P.R.P.D. officers have broken their oath to uphold the rule of law, as they have been responsible for acts of crime and corruption and have routinely violated the constitutional rights of the residents of Puerto Rico.”

The report is likely to intensify a sense of distress among the nearly four million American citizens who live on Puerto Rico, where violent crime has spilled into well-to-do areas. While violent crime has plummeted in most of the mainland United States, the murder rate in Puerto Rico is soaring. In 2011, there have been 786 homicides — 117 more than at this point last year.

Rather than helping to solve the crime wave, the Puerto Rico Police Department is part of the problem, the report contends. In October, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 61 officers from the department in the largest police-corruption operation in bureau history. And the arrest of Puerto Rican police officers, the report says, is hardly rare.

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