The organization Colectiva Feminista en Construcción has been working tirelessly to bring attention to the issue of violence against women in Puerto Rico, including an alarming number of femicides. Last year, they even held a sit-in asking that the governor Ricardo Rosselló declare a State of Emergency in order to tackle the urgent issue. Yet since their protests and actions began, they have been met with police resistance and inaction from Rosselló. However, yesterday the Governor finally agreed to meet with the group in La Fortaleza.
“We have all intentions of uniting our forces to study the proposals of the order [put forth by the colectiva], and to support the initiative which we understand will promote the end of gender violence on the island,” said Rosselló in a press release shared by his offices.
Reunido con representantes del Concilio de Mujeres, el Colectivo Feminista y representantes de organizaciones sin fines de lucro. Repasamos las medidas de nuestra administración para erradicar la violencia contra la mujer y discutimos próximas acciones. @LersyBoria @wandavazquezg pic.twitter.com/tCLcwQBVwA
— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) January 14, 2019
The meeting comes after prominent rappers (and celebs) Residente and Bad Bunny met with the governor. It is an insult to injury, to say the least, that the two artists had to camp out in his offices to start the discussion and that the worrisome figures or the ongoing powerful actions by local feminists weren’t enough on their own to get the governor’s attention. By November of 2018, 40 women had already been killed on the island, at least double the number from the previous year. Hopefully, however, this is a sign that the island’s local officials are finally listening.
We reached out to the Colectiva to hear about how the meeting went on their end, and will keep you updated on this story.
In the meantime, in December Latino Rebels interviewed Shariana Ferrer, one of the organizers of the Colectiva who was present at this meeting, about the issues on the island and why the group believes it is time to declare a State of Emergency when it comes to the protection of women. Listen here:
Other organizations in attendance at the meeting were representatives of el Concilio de Mujeres, and other local officials, leaders, and public servants like Wanda Vázquez Garced, Teresita Fuentes, Lersy Boria and Suzanne Roig.