The Puerto Rican people say: Luma out!

Thousands protest LUMA Energy Aug. 25 in front of La Fortaleza, the governor’s residence in Old San Juan. The Police Tactical Operations Unit later attacked the protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets. SLL photo: Berta Joubert-Ceci

This week the patience of the people in the face of the abuses of the Luma Energy privatization scheme has come to an end. 

Since this mafia corporation arrived in Puerto Rico, imposed by the Fiscal Control Board, there have been seven massive blackouts; substation explosions due to lack of maintenance, and house fires; hospitals and senior centers have been left without electricity, endangering the lives of hundreds of people; and in the mountains, people without water because electricity is needed for pumping. On top of that, rates have also increased seven times, and many people have to decide whether to pay for electricity or buy food.

The people have declared “Basta! Enough!” and the fight against Luma has taken different levels and different forms, from protests inside company offices, weekly pickets in front of their central office, pasquinades (lampoons) in public places, campaigns on social media, and many other forms of protest, including cacerolazos (banging pots and pans) in front of Fortaleza, the house of Governor Pierluisi, who has defended Luma tooth and nail.

Even in the corporate media, there has been coverage of the abuses of Luma. Both radio and television program presenters and popular artists have spoken out against this contract.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, there was a massive demonstration in front of Fortaleza where protesters demanded that the governor annul the contract. Around 9 o’clock at night, the police decided to end the demonstration and cleared out the crowd by shooting tear gas and rubber bullets, injuring several people.

This has only increased the courage of the people, who continue summoning almost daily actions.

So the struggle continues until the victory of the slogan “Fuera Luma! Luma Out!”

From Puerto Rico, for Radio Clarín of Colombia, this is Berta Joubert-Ceci.


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