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Drug War in PR Schools

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  • Drug War in PR Schools

    Drug-trafficking threats will not be allowed in schools

    Friday, February 7th, 2003.

    – Education Secretary Cesar Rey and Police Superintendent Victor Rivera warned Friday that they will not allow delinquents to intimidate the school community.

    Their statements rose after rumors of a war for control of drug points generated panic among students of 15 schools in Rio Piedras and Hato Rey, obliging authorities to increase police vigilance in this sector.

    "The police will not lower their guard, and I repeat, I do not come to challenge, I come to defend the fundamental principles of this island, which are education, liberty, and the right to life," Rivera said in a press conference at the Miguel Such Vocational School in Rio Piedras.

    According to the superintendent, it is essential that school communities and civilian organizations join authorities and not allow "criminals" to overpower the schools and the island.

    "Our efforts are not enough if the community does not close ranks. The safest place has to be the school, it can’t be any other place," Rey told journalists.

    Meanwhile, Rey promised to guarantee the safety of the students who go to school, which he described as “sacred places."

    He also made a call to the school community to remain sensible and calm.

    According to the secretary, school attendance was down Thursday by 26% because of the rumors of possible shooting and kidnapping in schools near the Manuel A. Perez, Quintana, and San Jose public housing as a consequence of several murders that occurred in this zone in the last few weeks. In Miguel Such, attendance was down 50%, he said.

    "The school is closing its gates to prevent people from outside from entering. The police are collaborating, and we are working with the quality-of-life program," Rey mentioned as some of the prevention measures that will be used in the zone.