Couple entrenched in Caguas: on trial for defying sanitation order

The marriage made up of Zulma Figueroa Córdova and Luis Ángel Colón Colón will face trial on February 8 for the much less critical crime of resisting or obstructing the train of public authority when, upon arriving on the Luis Muñoz Marín airport on January 2, they refused to fill out the Traveler Declaration, COVID-19 alert and ship documentation to officers on the port facility.

The couple, who tried to evade an arrest warrant on Tuesday evening, had been launched on bail yesterday, going through a six-month jail sentence or a superb of as much as $ 5,000.

Figueroa Córdova and Colón Colón appeared yesterday for a digital listening to earlier than Judge Wilfredo Viera Garcés, of the Carolina Court. The listening to was not held in individual as a result of Colón Colón has COVID-19.

Since Tuesday, Viera Garcés discovered trigger for arrest towards each and set a bond of $ 10,000 every. The dedication was made within the absence of the suspects as a result of they didn’t seem in courtroom that day.

The try and execute the arrest warrant become a tense incident late on Tuesday evening, because the couple barricaded themselves with three minors in a automobile parked close to their residence in Caguas. After lastly being intervened by the Police, yesterday the couple appeared on the sign issued by the courtroom. Bail for each was deferred by the Pretrial Services Program (Psaj), in keeping with the Justice Department.

Figueroa Córdova and Colón Colón are accused of violating Article 246 of the Penal Code, by refusing to finish the traveler’s declaration required by Executive Order 2021-081, issued by Governor Pedro Pierluisi.

According to the complaints, upon arrival on the airport, the couple “prevented the officials from carrying out their work when, in a haughty, challenging and with clear disregard for the law, they did not provide personal information that must be reflected in the ‘Travel Declaration Form ‘o Declaration of the Traveler, the negative test of COVID-19 and its identification, an indispensable requirement when arriving at each one of the airports of Puerto Rico ”.

That day, after leaving the airport with out being detained by the authorities for refusing to adjust to the necessities, Figueroa Córdova revealed a video during which he boasted of his efficiency. On Tuesday evening, when the Police and Health Department officers processed her arrest and that of her husband, the lady once more used social networks to publish a video during which she insisted that her arrest and that of her husband had been unlawful. . In addition, he accused the police of placing on a present.

Dozens of individuals, together with anti-vaccine activists, got here – a lot of them with out masks – to the world the place the arrest was being tried to shout on the police and Health Department officers. Furthermore, in a hostile method, they harassed and attacked journalists who had been protecting the incident.

They condemn assaults on the press

The Association of Journalists of Puerto Rico (Asppro), the Association of Photojournalists of Puerto Rico (AFPR) and the Overseas Press Club (OPC) signed a joint assertion yesterday during which they expressed their rejection of what they described as an assault on freedom. press.

According to the organizations, 4 photojournalists, three reporters and a information producer had been attacked whereas protecting the mediation course of to which the police resorted to the preliminary resistance of the couple to their arrest. A photojournalist from El Nuevo Día was a type of attacked.

“We understand and accept that our profession exposes us to find ourselves in the midst of difficult and sometimes violent conflicts in which we may suffer collaterally. What is unacceptable are the violent attacks specifically directed at our colleagues when they are only fulfilling their duty to report ”, claimed Damaris Suárez, president of Asppro.

The acts of Tuesday evening are an escalation to the extent of verbal violence that sure anti-vaccine sectors had mirrored on social networks, primarily towards members of the scientific and medical group in Puerto Rico who promote the vaccination of the inhabitants.

Movements like this have been seen all through the world, with nice resonance in Germany, Italy, and in some cities of the United States, the place the inhabitants rejects the intervention of the State within the imposition of measures to forestall the unfold of infections by COVID- 19. The arguments vary from conspiracy theories to a resistance to the limitation of particular person freedoms.

The scientist Mónica Feliú Mójer was involved in regards to the degree of aggressiveness mirrored within the incident. On a private degree, she had observed an advance in personalistic verbal violence on social media. “One of the things that is clear to me about what happened last night (Tuesday) is how dangerous misinformation is when combined with polarization,” Feliú Mójer analyzed. “For many people, these anti-vaccine stances have become a fundamental part of their beliefs and, then, we see these extreme reactions, of attacking the other person, that there is no space for dialogue, and what it does is that they this polarization is intensifying ”, added the scientific communicator.

For the cultural anthropologist María Isabel Quiñones, it’s troublesome to affirm that actions towards vaccination mandates and different protocols reply solely to conservatism. “I think that some groups and organizations that define themselves as progressive also resort to very similar symbols and strategies,” he stated. “In this pandemic, both progressive and conservative sectors turn individual rights, civil liberties, due process of law and government limits into issues, but not necessarily for the same reasons,” Quiñones added.

In the anthropologist’s opinion, there’s a assembly level between those that want to restrict State interventions to be able to defend particular person rights and people who denounce the violation of their civil rights by the governmental equipment. “At one extreme, there are those who fear that a state of emergency during the pandemic will be prolonged or normalized and possibly open the door to a form of totalitarianism, and at the other, those who favor the non-regulation of the economy, reject the aid. the most vulnerable or oppose universal education, as well as universal vaccination “, he commented.

Meanwhile, Law professor Yanira Reyes confused that one of many foremost features of the federal government is to make sure the well being and security of the inhabitants. “It is more than reasonable that the government of Puerto Rico tries to monitor the status of people who are entering” the nation, he stated.

“These orders that have been established have been questioned in the courts and, until now, practically all have been validated”, he confused.

However, though he held to the authority of the federal government of Puerto Rico to impose safeguards for public well being, Reyes believed that this doesn’t should indicate a punitive mechanism that imposes fines or imprisonment in its execution.

Yesterday, exactly, the consultant of the Citizen Victory Movement, Mariana Nogales, proposed amendments in order that violations of government orders issued by the governor are thought-about administrative offenses, as an alternative of constituting crimes that should be addressed by the courts and that expose individuals to fines of as much as $ 5,000 and even jail time

The journalist Carlos Tolentino Rosario contributed to this story.

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