They were both tasered without justification, she said.
They were both tasered without justification, she said.The “cementerio de los jóvenes” in Loíza has become a symbol for gun violence that plagues the community.Since its founding, Loíza has been the heart of Afro-Puerto Rican culture.
Black residents often face targeted police abuse more than other groups - and Loíza’s residents are no exception.
One local advocate who attended the meeting told us how she and her son were targeted by the police for her outspoken activism.
We heard stories of senseless murders of young adults - too often for petty reasons.
The roots of the violence, we were told, stem from systemic poverty and a lack of mentorship and educational opportunities.
As we ended our conversation, the board members offered us cool drinks and snacks. I left Loíza with an enriched perspective on Puerto Rico’s history and culture - and great respect for the work of dedicated advocates fighting for the betterment of their community.
Scholars who study Puerto Rico's past have struggled with the question of how to define the island’s national identity.
They were a far cry from the colorful and beautifully designed colonial-style buildings in the heart of old San Juan.
When we arrived in Loíza, Josué led us to the Center for Culture, Education and Business, where we met with board members of the Comité Pro-Desarrollo de Villa Cañona, a group of the town’s elected community leaders.
The ride to Loíza was both picturesque yet telling.
On one side of the coastal road, local residents enjoyed the simplicity of a coastline without mass tourism and hotel-packed beaches.