July 26, 2019

Leaked text messages between Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló and his comrades caused mass protests across the region, leading to his resignation. In the late evening on July 24, celebrations erupted as he announced his plan to step down effective August 2.

Intelligence analyst for the Americas region, Anthony Tipping, spoke with The Points Guy on the impact of travel to Puerto Rico during the unrest. "[Anthony] said he wouldn’t advise tourists planning on going to Puerto Rico to alter their plans, but stressed they ought to take certain commonsense precautions, like keeping abreast of the local news to avoid potential new protests against Rosselló’s successor, who has indicated she would support police use of force against demonstrators."

“'Old San Juan has narrow streets, and with so many people convening in these areas, the risk of violence and crime, such as pickpocketing, increases,' [Anthony] said. 'Situational awareness at all times is always a good idea.'” In San Juan, high-income neighborhoods are often located in close proximity to low-income neighborhoods. This needs to be taken into consideration, particularly if traveling by foot, as higher rates of crime tend to be focused in these lower-income areas. La Perla in Old San Juan is one example.

Intelligence analyst Tipping suggested pre-arranging transportation, as Puerto Rico has "a notoriously weak transportation network and current events will have pushed it to the limit." 

The article also quoted Tipping saying, “There’s always the risk that protestors start throwing rocks, for example, or start fires, and I don’t think that risk has dissipated, because it’s still an unstable political environment with discontent against the interim government coming in," "But at least until the inauguration on Aug. 2, it’s unlikely the discontent will reach the same levels as that directed at Rosselló, though the potential for unrest remains at least until the election in 2020.”

Read the full article here.


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