Final Feature Story-Francisco Torres

Looking at the current candidates for Puerto Rican government system

By Francisco A. Torres

May 3 2012

Type of Feature: Color, How to

First of all is the New Progressive Party which is a political party that defends Puerto Rico’s admission to the United States of America as the 51st state. Party members are commonly called “penepes”, “progressivists” or “statehooders”. During the last four decades, the New Progressive Party members have been trying to convince Puerto Ricans that becoming a US state is the correct political status and choice for Puerto Rico. The New Progressive Party was founded in 1967 by the eventual first New Progressive Party governor Luis A. Ferre with the purpose of defending Puerto Rican statehood.

The New Progressive Party is one of the three major political parties in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, most municipalities have a New Progressive Committee which is used for meetings and decision making. For example, in the Mayaguez committee the members choose which people are going to be the candidates for mayor, representatives and senators per district. In this committee there are two members who were teachers from high school and elementary school which were interviewed. At first there is Juan A. Zapata Beauchamp who was trying to be the Mayaguez Mayor in the year 2000, however he did not succeed. Also, in 2012 he tried to run for being a representative per district Mayaguez-San German, but he lost the primaries. Despite being defeated in the primaries he says that he will continue trying to obtain a political position for the New Progressive Party. Juan Zapata, a teacher from Hispanic Studies, is now the sub-director of ASSUME, a trustworthy political position and is currently trying to develop his political career.

This is Juan Zapata to the right giving a speech about statehood. He was also doing a conference about his future campaign for being a representative per district Mayaguez-San German.

On the other hand, there is also a high school teacher Marcos Joel Garcia who is the president of the group “Juventud PNP de Mayaguez”. During his interview, Marcos says that the requirements for being part of this organization are very simple which are to have between 14 to 28 years of age. During his interview he tells that he signed up his affiliation with the New Progressive Party in the early 2000s. When he was signing up to join the “Juventud PNP de Mayaguez”, he made an oath that he was going to be loyal to the New Progressive Party by becoming part of the committee. Marcos says that the statehooder youth organization meets all Mondays at 7:00p.m. on San Juan Street, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Their purpose is to teach people how to become future leaders. Also the organization explain to the candidates advertising and their purpose for making their candidatures.

Marcos Joel celebrating a meeting with the governor Luis Fortuño and the first woman Lucé Vela. This meeting was about earning funds for Fortuño’s campaign.

However, their main rivals are the Popular Democratic Party and the Puerto Rican Independence Party. The Popular Democratic Party was founded by Luis Muñoz Marín in  1938. This Party is divided into two groups, the political status quo and the other which defends the sobereignty commonwealth status of Puerto Rico. The leader is Alejandro Garcia Padilla who defends the traditional commonwealth of Puerto Rico and their candidate for resident commissioner, Rafael Cox Alomar defends the other position of sovereignty. Also, Milton García a member from this party was interviewed. According to Milton Garcia he is a lawyer who is trying to become the Mayor of the Manati municipality for the Popular Democratic Party. Milton Garcia was also in charge of the case where a child commit involuntary homicide against his own brother, but he achieved to prove that it was involuntary homicide convincing that the child was innocent.

The President of the Popular Democratic Party Alejandro Garcia Padilla doing a public speaking with Milton Garcia. Milton Garcia is a lawyer who aspire to become the Mayor  of the Manati municipality.

Meanwhile the Puerto Rican Independence Party defends the total independence of Puerto Rico finishing their relationship with the United States of America. This party was founded by Gilberto Concepcion de Gracia in 1946. The Puerto Rican Independence Party president is Juan Dalmau. In addition, Efrain Cortes is a member of the Puerto Rican Independence Party youth. In the interview he says that he believes in a social-democratic government system. Efrain is also a student of Sociology in the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. According to Efrain, he defends his position against the burguesy and desires to become a local legislator in Moca, Puerto Rico. According to Efrain, he is also a man who is always down defending the sports in Puerto Rico. One of his objective as a local legislator is to improve the structure of the municipality park to secure and motivate talented sportsmen.

This is Efrain Cortes to the left sharing his sporting interest with friends from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. He is focusing his political career in sports promotions.

Word Counts: 854


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