Flor Maria Piñeiro
July 4, 1922 – July 11, 2016
Join in a National Call-in Day on Wednesday, April 27!
We are joining with Jubilee USA to help organize tens of thousands of people to call Congress and urge solutions to Puerto Rico's crisis that protect the vulnerable.
Use the Justice and Peace Action Network tool to identify and call your member of Congress.
When you call, identify yourself as a person of faith with strong ties to partners in Puerto Rico. Tell your member of Congress not to pass the current control board legislation. Urge the instead to support legislation that includes the following:
- very strong debt restructuring tools
- clear targets to reduce child poverty
- solutions that respect local democracy
- strong budget transparency provisions
Take Action! Call your Member of Congress to tell them any debt relief legislation should protect rather than punish the people of Puerto Rico
Congress is debating legislation that would place Puerto Rico under a restrictive Fiscal Control Board that would do more to ensure funds are used to repay creditors than to provide essential services to the people of Puerto Rico. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for the office of your Representative in the House. Tell them you support an agreement for Puerto Rico that allows them fairly and fully to restructure their debt and prioritizes a plan to meet basic social service needs on the island.
Puerto Rico civil society organizations and religious leaders, including Global Ministries' partners, have rejected the proposed legislation, and especially the Fiscal Control Board that they claim undermines their rule of law and establishes a neo-colonial model of administration.
- “IT AIN’T PRETTY” denounced Church leaders on the proposed solutions to Puerto Rico fiscal crisis
- Jubilee USA Alert on Puerto Rico debt proposal
The Interim President of the Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Bishop Felipe Lozada, concluded that the solution given by the US Congress to address the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico, though it includes provisions for a stay on the debt for 18 months and after a period of voluntary negotiations to force creditors to take reduced payouts, will face wide opposition among the Puerto Rican leadership to the proposed Control Board. He cited Congressmen José Serrano and Nydia Velázquez saying that the proposed Control Board, modeled after the Washington control board of the 1990s, “undermines Puerto Rico’s rule of law.” He also cited Congressman Luis Gutierrez adding that "the Republican recipe is a new stage of colonial supervision. The solution to the crisis is not a more firm control over its self-determination, but a growing economy and work for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico." The three congressmen mentioned by Bishop Lozada have deep roots on the island.Read more
Take Action! Click here to send a letter or make a call to your elected officials.
Puerto Rico is at risk of defaulting on $72 billion in debt and is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. Congressional leaders have promised to take up legislation that will help with urgently needed financial protections, but your voice is needed to encourage members to support these debt relief proposals.Read more
Puerto Rico's current situation is unique in that it is not a sovereign nation and therefore cannot request financing or a low-interest loan from the IMF (International Monetary Fund), but neither does it have access to the municipal bankruptcy protections afforded to US cities and states (i.e. Detroit declared bankruptcy in 2013) to help alleviate their more than $70 billion debt. Puerto Rico is inching closer to defaulting on its loans and has been asking Congress and the US government for help.Read more
Posted Dec 11, 2015 on LatinOne
After Puerto Rico Governor, Alejandro García Padilla, admitted that the country has run out of cash because of its $70 billion debt, the US Congress has thought of some ways to remedy the situation.
CNN Money said the legislative body presented two bills that could help Puerto Rico recover from its humanitarian crisis.Read more
From Jubilee USA Network
Puerto Rico made its December 1 payment and avoided default. It seems unlikely that they have the liquidity to make the next payment on January 1st.Read more
Posted Fri, December 4th, 2015 on SCOTUSblog
For the second time in the current Term, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to look into the Puerto Rican government’s authority to manage its own affairs. This time, the commonwealth is seeking an opportunity equal to the states to restructure its public debt. The island’s debt is massive and still growing.Read more
Disciples General Minister and President Sharon Watkins and UCC General Minister and President John Dorhauer, along with the Co-Executives of Global Ministries, Julia Brown Karimu and James Moos, wrote a letter to U.S. Congressional leaders appealing for Congress to act on legislation that would help solve the severe economic debt crisis being faced by Puerto Rico.
The letter, dated December 7, 2015 responds to the request from our partners, including the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico (CCDPR), to seek Congressional action "regarding the devastating effects on people caused by the debt crisis on the island," which is a U.S. territory, but which does not benefit from the same rights and privileges as U.S. states, including legal options to seek relief of the commonwealth's excessive debt, estimated at $72 Billion.Read more
Puerto Rico's economy is trapped in a debt crisis. This crisis further threatens nearly half of the population living in poverty. As Global Ministries, we are accompanying and hearing our partner churches' and organizations' concerns about the debt; the consequences for defaulting on it; the proposals that would reduce wages; layoffs of worker; reducing employee benefits; and a reduction in health services. Drastic measures, as some sectors are proposing, will adversely affect the poor and needy in Puerto Rico. Those who lend money at high interest rates know that it is a heavy burden to the fiscal health of the people but have no authority to demand changes that would affect essential services, jobs and opportunities for an economic resurgence.
Our partner churches and ecumenical organizations have been involved in discussion and advocacy, urging the U.S. Government and the private banking sector to declare a Jubilee for Puerto Rico. Let us pray and act in favor of the people in Puerto Rico, as Jubilee USA Network has been including some of the materials to reflect and to witness a Jubilee that allow debt relief and attention to the “poorer of the poor” in the Enchantment Island.
From Jubilee USA Network:
Governor Announces Revenue "Claw-Back" to Fund Government Services
Washington DC - Puerto Rico surprised some analysts by making a scheduled $354 million debt payment and avoiding a default. In an announcement, the island's Government Development Bank said it had "paid all principle and interest payments due today on certain outstanding [debt]." Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington that the island's government will "claw-back" revenues designated to pay certain debts to instead pay for government services. "We have no cash left," Padilla told the committee. The US Territory owes $72 billion in total debt, which Governor Padilla called "unpayable" in June.