Yes, Students Protested in San Juan on May 13 and the US Media Ignored It

May 14, 2015
12:07 AM

UPDATE, May 20: Since we wrote the following piece on May 14, two outlets have covered the protests and what has happened since: PRI and HuffPost. Both outlets have linked to our original piece.

We waited a few hours to write this post just to give the U.S. mainstream media a chance to actually cover a day of some very intense protests in Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon. As of tonight (around 12:05amET on May 14), we can safely conclude that very little coverage (if any, to be quite honest) ever even appeared in U.S. English-language media. The only English language piece we found was a story by Prensa Latina:

San Juan, May 13 (Prensa Latina) Thousands of members of the Puerto Rican university community rejected the possible cuts to the budget of state University of Puerto Rico, in a massive march because of the fiscal crisis of the island.

Students, teachers, investigators and non-teaching workers of the UPR and members of private universities met at the Capitol of San Juan to march up to La Fortaleza, the host of the Puerto Rican Executive.

That was pretty much it as of this initial posting, even though #11Recintos1UPR was active for most of the day, as well as #MarchaUPR.

Those two hashtags included several photos, including these:

And these:

Social media also featured videos of the protests (“We are students, we’re not criminals!”):


Lo pongo por aquí por aquello de que somos “violentos”. El primer macanazo del día está como al minuto 1:15.El video está público ahora ya que muchos lo están compartiendo pero quiero también aclarar que mi intención con publicarlo no es condenar a la Policía de Puerto Rico. El Nuevo Día ayer dejó entender que los estudiantes fueron los primeros en ejercer violencia física y la intención del video es que quede en récord que los estudiantes hicieron un llamado a la paz en todo momento. Aprovecho también para dejar claro que la mayoría del cuerpo de oficiales allí presente se comportó con respeto hacia los manifestantes, salvo por aquel que primero soltó el macanazo y el otro que usó pepper spray. Ellos están allí haciendo su trabajo y posiblemente algunos simpatizan con nosotros. Como me dijo uno de los oficiales: "No es personal".

Posted by Jorge L Falcón Garrido on Wednesday, May 13, 2015


There were even reports that a Pepsi bottle filled with aluminum and a chemical had detonated very near the La Fortaleza (the governor’s mansion). There were no injuries, but we do think that if a bomb-like device had gone off near where an elected official on the mainland was, it would be on a constant 24/7 constant loop coverage. Images from the live stream of El Nuevo Día also were shared throughout social media all day in Puerto Rico:

[EN VIVO] Estudiantes intentan llegar al portón de La Fortaleza

Posted by El Nuevo Dia on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

And by the end of the day, student leaders were meeting with Governor Alejandro García Padilla.

Yet we guess that such news shouldn’t be reported to the rest of the United States. If you want to read more about what happened, you need to live in Latin America and know Spanish.

By the way, it looks like the student protests are just beginning to pick up momentum, with reports (in Spanish, of course) that a student strike will be happening this week. Four years ago, student protests on the island lasted for months.