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The crisis of the electricity system on the island fills the streets with protests in Puerto Rico

Protests against the electrical system in Puerto Rico.

Protests against the electrical system in Puerto Rico.

Photo: Angel Valentin / Getty Images

The Puerto Ricans they took to the street in the form of protest their discomfort for the electricity system crisis of the island, caused by constant cuts of the service and threat of price increase that jeopardize the recovery of the economy of the Caribbean territory.

Hundreds of people gathered next to the Hiram Bithorn stadium in the Puerto Rican capital to march on the Las Américas express against the Luma Energy company and the electrical service that the population receives.

The protests are directed both against this private company, which since last June is responsible for the distribution and transmission of the island’s electrical system, as well as the state Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which until that date was responsible for the entire system and which maintains the generation.

Subscribers they reject the quality of a service that they report is poor as has been demonstrated in recent months with continuous blackouts, which affected both private customers and small merchants and companies.

The governor intervened

The president of the union with a presence in the PREPA Union of Electric and Irrigation Industry Workers (Utier), Ángel Figueroa, said during the demonstration that the problems of the electrical system are the responsibility of Luma Energy.

“The people have realized the bad contract and the consequences. It is no longer what we said would happen, but it is already happening, “he said.

The situation reached a point where the governor himself, Pedro Pierluisi, was forced to intervene and he demanded immediate measures to respond to what was becoming the main problem on the Caribbean island.

After the intervention of the chief executive, PREPA’s Governing Board appointed engineer Josué Colón as the new executive director of the public company at the end of September with the aim of solving blackouts that left hundreds of thousands people without service.

Blackouts are becoming more frequent

Increasingly frequent blackouts have caused a great social unrest, especially after Despite poor service, the possibility of a rate increase will be announced.

Luma Energy has defended itself against attacks caused by blackouts, noting that the problem lies in generation, PREPA’s responsibility, which in turn justified the problems by a series of breakdowns.

Despite the problems suffered by the subscribers, Luma Energy requested a 16.4% increase in the electricity bill As of October 1, a request that, for now, has not been approved by the regulatory authorities. The president of the United Retailers Center (CUD), Jesús Vázquez, asked the governor and the legislature to address the crisis in the electricity system on the island.

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