Protesters carry items damaged by the blackout and power surges to Old San Juan

With his television set, Aguadilla resident Raquel Quiñones participated in a demonstration against the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the government and LUMA Energy this Thursday.

“I decided to come to the demonstration because if I am damaged by LUMA and I don’t express myself, I don’t feel myself, (then) I don’t have the right to protest, to say anything. If I protest, if I stand in solidarity with the people, I can demand it,” he said. Quiñones said, explaining that he lost the TV his son had given him a year ago due to “low power” after it was certified by a technician.

The 67-year-old woman, like dozens of protesters, marched near La Fortaleza this afternoon to demand the cancellation of the contract. Faced with heavy police surveillance, the streets around the executive palace were immediately closed, and the protesters decided to focus on the main square. They deposited items like fans, televisions, computer monitors etc. there.

“In Aguadilla it (electricity service interruptions) happens practically every day. You can go on for hours, a whole day. It all depends,” said the 62-year-old woman.

Before the planned demonstration began at 5:00 p.m., Governor Pedro Pierluisi had warned that it was illegal to leave “waste” on the street. He also said that the protesters were helped by their right to express their views, but to respect the police and follow the law.

Asked what will happen to LUMA Energy’s subcontract that expires Nov. 30, Pierluisi said that date has not yet arrived.

“I am well aware of the number of subscribers without electricity. What I want is a stable network”, he said.

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A demonstrator displays a sign during a protest in Old San Juan this Thursday. (David Villafan/Staff)

Angry and angry people

“I don’t want to talk,” answered Clarissa Ramos, a resident of Caguas. New day He asked him what would happen to the LUMA Energy deal.

He participated in the protest because of the rate hikes he has held in recent months, despite failures in service provided by LUMA Energy.

“I used to pay between $50 and $60 (a month). I ended up with $98. I live alone. I’m retired. I can’t afford it,” he said, lamenting that he doesn’t have appliances like dryers, water heaters, electric stoves that cause exorbitant electricity costs. .

“What I see in the bill is that they are charging me for fuel. My consumption has not increased. The contract should be cancelled,” the woman demanded.

Jose Hernandez, who also had a T-shirt with the governor’s image and the words “Pierluisi resigns,” demanded the same.

“To me, Puerto Rico has never had a governor since we removed Ricky (Rossello as governor). Pierluisi holed up in La Fortaleza and what he did was political,” said the pedestal fan.

“In the last power outage, my fan and television were damaged. They (Government) have taken one and a half years to prove that they have good faith in the people and still haven’t proved it. People are already tired,” Hernandez added.

He said the governor’s revelations that he had LUMA Energy “on hold” was a “political strategy”.

Actor Teófilo Torres joined the protest with the character Batco, who questioned the actions of politicians between sentences. There was no shortage of slogans to the tune of placards and placards calling for the cancellation of the contract with LUMA Energy and/or the resignation of the governor.

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Jose Rodriguez from Rio Piedras said he doesn’t trust the governor. He explained that he was protesting because he feared the energy service provided by LUMA Energy in the middle of hurricane season would “plunge the country into total darkness.”

“I can survive as a single person. But I have to think about the number of people who are bedridden beyond 30,000. I have to think about what happened after Hurricane Maria and the colleagues of UTIER who built the whole system from electric power with their experience,” he said.

In the face of a major hurricane, he doubted that LUMA Energy would help in an emergency. “They left us part of the medical center without power,” he recalled recently of the incident that kept the university hospital in the dark.

Also, carrying a damaged television, retired teacher Reynaldo Alvarado Rivera from Naranjito questioned the governor’s actions to LUMA Energy.

“The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluzzi, Luma’s lawyer, because with all the mess Luma has caused, he continues to defend it and doesn’t want to get rid of them, so if he doesn’t want to get rid of them, we’re going. Get rid of Pierluzzi,” it ruled.

Immediately, he said, people’s anger was not only against the contract with LUMA, but also against the poor state of public schools, highways, electricity, expensive gasoline and the poor economy.

“What are they looking for? Straighten the neck of this country. We are already tired. “We are going to do whatever it takes to protect ourselves from this outrage,” he asserted.

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Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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