Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014, 13:11 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2010 - Puerto Rico

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 28 May 2010
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2010 - Puerto Rico, 28 May 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c03a8088.html [accessed 18 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO

Head of state: Barack H. Obama (replaced George W. Bush in January)
Head of government: Anibal Aceveda-Vilá
Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
Population: 4 million
Life expectancy: 79 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 9/8 per 1,000


There were reports of police ill-treatment during attempts to enter an informal settlement where residents were under a government eviction order.

Excessive use of force

There were reports of excessive use of force by police against the community of Villas de Sol in Toa Baja in August during a police operation to gain access to the area. According to reports, police deployed pepper spray and used batons against a group of residents who were obstructing their access. A number of people were reportedly taken to hospital, including a woman who was eight months pregnant.

Right to adequate housing

The Villas de Sol Community of 211 families in Toa Baja, many of whose members were from the Dominican Republic, was under an eviction order from the government. In August, the water and electricity supplies to the community were turned off and temporary supplies provided by the town authorities. There were concerns about the quality of the water in the tanks and about reported toxicity from the electrical generators. In November, a complaint was made on behalf of the community to the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. Later that month, the 31 December deadline for the eviction of the community was extended by six months.

Police and security forces

In August, a jury in a US federal court convicted four San Juan Municipal Police officers in connection with the death in custody of José Antonio Rivera Robles in 2003. The four officers were awaiting sentencing at the end of the year.

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