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Designated Women’s Advocate condemns García Padilla’s pardons

By on December 31, 2016

SAN JUAN — Designated Women’s Advocate Ileana Aymat Ríos condemned the decision of Governor Alejandro García Padilla to pardon former mayors of Guayanilla and Adjuntas, Edgardo Arlequín and Roberto Vera, both accused of sexual harassment and lascivious acts against municipal employees.

In this April 30, 2015, photo, Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla delivers his budget address for the next fiscal year at the Capitol building in San Juan. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File)

(Ricardo Arduengo/AP)

“The court saw the actions of these former mayors against their employees as what they are: criminal behavior. I find surprising the response of Governor García Padilla, who sends the wrong message with his actions, that the affront and humiliation of women is allowed in our society,” said Aymat Ríos in a written statement.

To Aymat Ríos, who has worked for 25 years in favor of women in Puerto Rico and Latin America, the actions of García Padilla are “unjustifiable” and minimize acts of aggression against women.

“It is unjustifiable that a Governor who has a wife and daughters has not put himself in the position of the victims and their families. The Governor has made a critical mistake,” said Aymat Ríos.

On December 2015, Arlequín was sentenced to four years in prison for violation of the Government Ethics Act and an additional sentence of six months for sexual harassment.

As for Vera, he was sentenced in 2008 to four years in suspended sentence for lascivious acts.

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