SAN JUAN – At least a dozen Puerto Rican mayors and hundreds of inhabitants of their respective municipalities demonstrated on Monday to demand that the island’s governor, Ricardo Rossello, speed up the process of restoring electrical service.
Powerful winds associated with Category 4 Hurricane Maria destroyed the United States commonwealth’s electricity grid on Sept. 20, and a sizable chunk – around 37 percent – of the island’s customers still are without power four months later.
The mayors of Caguas, Dorado, Morovis, Loiza, Barceloneta, San Lorenzo, Hatillo, Guayanilla, Juncos and other municipalities marched from Plaza de Colon to La Fortaleza (the governor’s official residence) in Old San Juan.
“I think people have been resilient, that they’ve been tolerant ... but the time has come to assert their demands,” Caguas Mayor William Miranda Torres told EFE.
He said that only between 40 percent and 45 percent of the homes in his municipality had electrical service.
Dorado Mayor Carlos Lopez provided similar numbers to reporters, saying that 60 percent of the communities in his northern municipality still did not have power.
“This is a peaceful demonstration with the sole purpose of telling the governor that our people are fed up. Our people have gone through some tough times,” Morovis Mayor Carmen Maldonado said.