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More than 50 arrested in Puerto Rico for breaking curfew, dry law

By on September 26, 2017

SAN JUAN – More than 50 people were arrested and three businesses were intervened with Monday evening in Puerto Rico for not observing the curfew and prohibition on liquor sales put in effect across the island to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane María’s devastation.

Specifically, there were 11 curfew (7 p.m. to 5 a.m.) violation arrests, while 43 people were arrested for breaking the dry law, Ramón Rosario, La Fortaleza Public Affairs secretary, told Caribbean Business.

As for the businesses cited by the Treasury Department for selling alcoholic beverages, three establishments in Santurce will have their liquor sale permits revoked for six months. The businesses were not specified.

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A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Security detailed that the curfew-related arrests were made in Caguas (2), Aibonito (8) and Aguadilla (1).

Twenty-five people were arrested Sunday night for being out after the curfew order of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, which remains in effect until further notice. Several incidents of looting and vandalism have been reported, while island residents remain concerned for their safety.

“Looting has been reported, particularly at night. That’s why the curfew is important,” Rosario said Monday during a press conference at the San Juan Convention Center, which is currently the government and and emergency services’ headquarters.

The National Guard has been assisting law enforcement in their patrolling around the island. Likewise, an attempt is being made to authorize “peace officers” to assist the Police Department and National Guard. The government also called on the White House to expedite the mobilization of law and order resources to the island.

In addition to the curfew, the dry law is also in effect indefinitely, 24 hours a day until further notice. On Sunday night, Treasury intervened with three establishments for  dry law violations: Bottles in Guaynabo, Marketplace in Hato Rey; and B Y B on Loíza Street in Santurce.

“No establishment is allowed to sell alcohol during the emergency,” Rosario said. However, the sale of alcoholic beverages is allowed exclusively at hotels around the island, Treasury told Caribbean Business.

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