November 8, 2012

Professors from the Agriculture of the Univertisity of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus vs. Windmills in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico

Investigative

By: Estefanía Torres Marrero and Carlos A. Torres

The trial concerning Robinson Rodríguez Pérez, Ph.D., Luis O. García Mercado, Rosemarie Vásquez Cruz, Edwin O. Velásquez González, Raúl Mari Fernández, Javier Smith Torres, professor and f the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM) campus, is because they were arrested last December, 2011 for protesting against the construction of the windmills in Santa Isabel and the trial is still ongoing.

They have not made a verdict, which will decide if they are innocent or if they will spend 6 months to 3 years in year plus a bail of $6,000.

The arraignment reading was on August 17 in Ponce and all the accused ones were not guilty of charges. That day the deputy attorney was not present only the deputy prosecutor was, therefore, they moved the trial to September 5, 2012.

They were protesting because the government allowed the construction of windmills in an agricultural territory that forms part of the 3 percent  of the most fertile territories of the world. There were other reasons like lots of people would lose their jobs as farmers; homes will be exposed to danger, etc. Therefore, they did not allow the entrance of construction vehicles and trucks to the construction  through the main entrance but there were other entrances where they could go in to the construction area without any problem.

There is a law that states that nobody can stop a construction while is in progress if it has the necessary permits, it also states that you may not occupy the land or the construction vehicles and you cannot stop the employees from entering the construction sites (law “Tito Kayak”), thus the police had no other choice to arrest them.

The process has taken eight months and Robinson Rodríguez Pérez, Ph.D told Noticias Illescanos:

“We feel obligated to respond and protest to this judicial system saturated with    politics. We do not recognize it as fair and democratic.”

On the other hand, Javier Smith Torres and Rosemarie Vásquez Cruz insisted that they are not criminals, and      the criminals are the public officials who corrupt the system; they can not continue to allow them to keep silence and let them criminalize the protest when social changes happen fighting in the street, demanding, and participating in the making of decisions and therefore, they deny the supremacy of the judiciary and the government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protesters expressing themselves against the construction with the

police in front of them trying to get them out.

 

“Then again we witness the farce of the prosecutions in Puerto Rico. When we saw that the jury found a cause we noticed the two-faced of the judicial system, the way they are always in favor of the economic interests, and how they ignored the the fact that they were ignoring the right of free expression”,  Raúl Mari Fernández told the agronomist and graduate student of the UPRM, to Noticias Illescanos.

If it was up to them they would keep protesting and expressing themselves until they are heard, and may reach an agreement with the jury.

Then On August 30, 2012 the General Student Council arrange the first Agriculture Rescue march where they were protesting against the injustice that the professor and the students were dealing with. They wanted to let the staff, faculty and other students know what was happening with that case and invite all of them to march with them.

Ten students in the UPRM were interviewed none of them were aware of the law “Tito Kayak”. Verónica Rodríquez, student of the UPRM agriculture department second yea rsaid, “Everyone has the right to be in favor or against any construction and if the majority is against it they should consider if the construction continues or if it should stop

Four of ten students said that they are in favor of the law and one of the four students, named Nelson Soto said, “If there are permits for the construction then there are employees are doing their jobs and the construction should not stop.”

People have lots of different perspectives of the situation and the majority of the students in the UPRM who were interviewed would protest against anything that they think is not okay with society, environment, economy, etc. even though they know they can get arrested if they are just expressing themselves.

Others who were interviewedhad a different opinion: they would not protest because,like Kevin Vargas said, “There are different ways express your concerns and opinions without anyone getting arrested or maybe there must be a way, and not just because of that there are many things you can do outside jail.”

But Dr. Robinson Rodríguez Pérez, Luis O. García Mercado, Rosemarie Vásquez Cruz, Edwin O. Velásquez González, Raúl Mari Fernández, Javier Smith Torres, they are the kind of people that will continue to protest and fight no matter the consequences and they have been since the start. They have proof that they were not doing anything illegal but the jury keeps postponing the trial, and now it is on December 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The windmills will be tested to see if the energy prices decrease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

http://www.primerahora.com/aplicanlaleytitokayakaseisopositoresdeturbinasensantaisabel-620952.html

 

http://illescanos.blogspot.com/2012/08/proceso-judicial-injusto-y-reafirman-su.html

 

http://haciaunaconcienciacritica.blogspot.com/2012/05/carta-al-pueblo-de-companeros.html

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/104165829/Marcha-por-el-Rescate-Agricola

 

 

   The windmills will be tested to see if the energy prices decrease.


The windmills will be tested to see if the energy prices decrease.

expressing themselves against the construction with the police in front of them trying to get them out.

expressing themselves against the construction with the
police in front of them trying to get them out.

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