Dozens of arrests in Puerto Rico for violating curfew
SAN JUAN — As Puerto Rico tries to recover from Hurricane María, a nighttime curfew continues in place as the government seeks to keep people out of the streets amid blackout conditions across the island.
A total of 25 people were arrested on Sunday night for violating Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s curfew order, which was recently extended indefinitely. Several incidents of looting and vandalism have also been reported, as residents continue to worry about their safety at nights.
“There have been reports of looting, particularly at nighttime. That is why the curfew is important,” said on Monday La Fortaleza Public Affairs Secretary Ramón Rosario during a press conference at the Convention Center in San Juan.
Rosario noted that most of the island remains without power, thus the importance of enforcing the curfew, which currently covers the period from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The National Guard has been assisting the government’s law enforcement agencies in patrolling efforts. The official also said federal government personnel in Puerto Rico will be authorized as “peace officers,” so that they can assist the Police Department and National Guard.
“In the next hours or days, federal authorities will be working with us [in enforcing the curfew],” Rosario said.
Three establishments violate dry law
In addition to the curfew, a dry law is also in effect indefinitely, 24 hours a day. The Public Affairs secretary announced that on Sunday, the local Treasury Department intervened with three establishments for selling alcoholic beverages, thus violating the dry law. All three had their alcohol permits suspended for six months.
The establishments were Bottles, a restaurant in Guaynabo; Marketplace in Hato Rey; and B Y B in Loíza St.
“No establishment can sell alcohol during the emergency,” Rosario stressed.