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Ponce: PR's Drug Hub

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  • Ponce: PR's Drug Hub

    Superintendent worried by drug addiction rate in Ponce

    Monday, March 17th, 2003.

    PONCE (AP)
    Police Superintendent Victor Rivera Gonzalez said on Monday he was surprised to learn of the serious drug-trafficking and drug addiction problems in Ponce.

    Rivera Gonzalez announced that on Sunday he visited several sectors in Ponce where he could confirm with his own eyes the grave problem that even affects entire families.

    "I confess that it worried me even more than the intervention process to see all those young people and women sitting on the floor sharing needles, the police chief said.

    Rivera Gonzalez said he saw as many as 50 people of all ages heavily into heroin.

    Following his round on the streets of Ponce, the superintendent asked Drug Control Office Executive Director Luis Guillermo Zambrana to begin a drug rehabilitation program there as soon as possible.

  • #2
    More than 4,000 HIV carriers in Ponce

    Thursday, March 20th, 2003.

    PONCE (AP)
    The number of AIDS or HIV patients has increased in Ponce in the past few years, according to leaders of La Providencia Shelter.

    Shelter Administrator Gloria Sampoll said Health Department statistics revealed that as of January, there were 4,000 HIV or AIDS patients in Ponce.

    "There is no doubt; there has been a dramatic increase of AIDS patients, and the majority are infected through drug use," said Priest Francisco Garcia, who leads the Ponce shelter that gives treatment and aid to these patients.

    Shelter leaders explained that besides Ponce, there is also a high number of AIDS patients in the southern municipalities of Juana Diaz and Guayama.

    The leaders of the La Providencia Shelter announced that they will hold an activity March 29 in the Club Deportivo of Ponce to gather funds to help homeless people and HIV/AIDS patients.

    Garcia said the cost of the tickets for the activity called "Love can do anything" is $25.

    He also announced that between June and July, a new center to treat AIDS patients will open after receiving $100,000 from Popular Democratic Party Rep. Roberto Cruz and another $50,000 from the Legislature.

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