ACLU Hosts High-Level Delegation Monday and Tuesday In San Juan To Address Serious Civil Liberties And Human Rights Violations

May 2, 2011 9:56 am
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero and baseball legend Carlos Delgado outside offices of Puerto Rico Secretary of State before meeting with government officials

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Actor Rosie Perez And Baseball Great Carlos Delgado Participate In Fact-Finding Mission

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SAN JUAN – The American Civil Liberties Union is hosting a high-level delegation in San Juan Monday and Tuesday on a fact-finding mission to document and draw attention to egregious civil liberties and human rights violations that have been occurring in Puerto Rico. Members of the high-level delegation include such notables as actor Rosie Perez and baseball legend Carlos Delgado.

The delegation will hold a press conference Tuesday. Details are below.

In contrast to recent non-violent protests in Wisconsin, Puerto Rican police have violently cracked down on protestors in the U.S. territory in blatant violation of their constitutional rights. During the past 18 months, individuals protesting at the University of Puerto Rico, the Capitol building steps, the Supreme Court and other locations have been subjected to beatings by police armed with night sticks, tear gas and pepper spray. Constitutionally protected expression has been seriously restricted by heavily armed SWAT and riot squad teams.

“The violent suppression of First Amendment and human rights has no place in Puerto Rico or anywhere in America,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “Our delegation aims to learn more about and call attention to these egregious civil liberties violations and to engage government leaders to address these pressing issues.”

The delegation is meeting with journalists who have faced police violence and severe restrictions when reporting on these incidents, as well as protestors, including university students, union leaders, workers and other citizens.

Delegates are meeting with government officials, including the Secretary of State, Attorney General, the police superintendent and legislators of both majority and minority parties.

In addition to Perez and Delgado, delegates include political scientist Angelo Falcón and civil rights attorney Juan Cartagena. A high-level advisory council, including actor Benicio del Toro, former governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, and filmmaker and political activist Kerry Kennedy, will follow up on findings and recommendations upon the delegation’s return from the mission.

The ACLU will release a report on the delegation’s findings later this summer.

Additional information about the delegates is available online at:

Press conference with high-level delegation commenting on two-day fact-finding mission and efforts to address serious civil liberties violations taking place in Puerto Rico.

Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU and William Ramirez of the ACLU of Puerto Rico will be hosting the delegation and joining delegates in a concluding press conference.

Tuesday, May 3
4:30 pm

Puerto Rico Bar Association
Board of Governors Room
San Juan, Puerto Rico


Town Hall meeting

Delegates with university student victims of police violence and abuse, professors and parents victimized by police during student protests

Monday, May 2
4:30-6:30 p.m.

University of Puerto Rico School of Law
Río Piedras Campus
San Juan, Puerto Rico

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