Puerto Rico Police Arrested Humanitarian Activist

Puerto Rico Police Arrested Humanitarian Activist

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Puerto Rico- Thursday, April 30, Puerto Rico police arrested humanitarian activist Giovanni Roberto during the attempt to promote a protest for the following day which marked the annual anniversary known as “May Day”.



Since Puerto Rico fell into bankruptcy, activists and community leaders both in the island and abroad have been rallying in masses every year on May 1st to denounce government corruption and the crippling affects of a massive debt that many believe is illegal. The debt has caused extreme austerity measures and the implementation of a federal appointed fiscal board that controls Puerto Rico’s finances and bankruptcy proceedings.

Giovanni Roberto has been very active in his struggles for social justice and has been in the front lines providing food for the homeless and less fortunate for nearly 6 years through the organization known as Comedores Sociales. Most recently he’s been participating in a series of protests denouncing the governments mismanagement of the testing for COVID-19 and neglect to provide food and other assisted to the community during the pandemic.

The list of claims by Giovanni and others include:

  • Testing and Tracking – to control the pandemic.
  • Automatic approval of PAN requests – for anyone who has already requested.
  • Reopening of all school canteens in the 78 municipalities of PR under the modality of car service.
  • Unemployment and / or for all those families with incomes less than $50 thousand.
  • Establish a 24/7 Line in the Department of Labor – to attend more quickly to people who are applying for unemployment.
  • Freezing Prices for food and essential products to the pandemic – Because our people without money now have to pay more expensively than ever.
  • Grant of $1,200 without waiting for the approval of the federal protocol. Money has our government in Puerto Rico and could have made the deposits already, weeks ago.
  • Defense of pensions because they are essential: Pensions guarantee the economic security of our most vulnerable population and allow them to stay at home supporting their relatives.



In addition, the funds for the debt should be used to fulfill social needs.

Several claims in social medoa were made that Giovanni was transferred to various locations in order to evade protestor who demanded for his release and news media, although this claim has not been confirmed.

Giovanni was released yesterday, May 1st, after intervention from his attorney. It was determined that he was held without probable cause.



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