Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) has fired one senior manager and demoted another who were complicit in discriminating against Kenneth Caban Gonzalez, represented by LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the Southern Center for Human Rights, who filed a federal court litigation alleging that he was illegally denied the right to exchange his valid Puerto Rico driver’s license for a Georgia driver’s license. The firing and demotion of the senior officials came amid a report issued today by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation detailing “deficiencies in investigative procedures” that were inconsistent with DDS protocol. Mr. Caban Gonzalez alleged in his lawsuit that his original identity documents were needlessly seized and that he was charged with providing false documents. His lawsuit was also filed on behalf of other applicants presenting Puerto Rican identity documents who were also denied Georgia driver’s license.
CONTACT: Christiaan Perez, email@example.com, 212-739-7581
Atlanta, GA – Kenneth Caban Gonzalez has been waiting nearly two years for his Georgia driver’s license and earlier today information was published showing that Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) has known that his documents were authentic since July of 2018. This news comes as LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Southern Center for Human Rights continue a legal battle to ensure that Georgia DDS treats Puerto Rican citizens with the same rights as other U.S. citizens.
This op-ed was originally publish in The Hill and you can see it here.
On July 24, Puerto Rico proved the power of protest. We can never underestimate it. This was the power that changed a government — decidedly, nonviolently and permanently.
July 25, 2019
CONTACT: Elianne Ramos, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-739-7513
LatinoJustice PRLDEF Statement on the Resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló
Below is a statement by Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, in response to the Resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló:
LatinoJustice PRLDEF nació en 1972 para abordar el abuso sistémico, la discriminación y la negligencia por parte del gobierno dentro de la diáspora puertorriqueña. No obstante, siempre hemos desempeñado un papel en atender las necesidades de los puertorriqueños que viven en la isla debido a la conexión entre la diáspora que nos creó y los lazos que nos unen a la misma. Como organización de derechos humanos y civiles, comenzamos con la organización, para defender los derechos de los Latinos y puertorriqueños, Puerto Rico debería poder disfrutar de la autodeterminación y participar en un verdadero proceso de descolonización. Como notamos en nuestra Declaración de Descolonización en 2018, el proceso debe estar anclado en la soberanía y en la no interferencia antes de que se decida una solución final.
Now, a significant portion of the island and the diaspora are demanding the resignation of the current governor, Ricardo Rosselló. Leaks over online chatroom conversations between the governor and his cabinet revealing his misogynistic, homophobic and vile beliefs have received unanimous condemnation. That reaction is fueling, in part, the current government crisis because federal aid for hurricane relief – being stymied by the current occupant of the White House, our white-supremacist-in-chief – hangs in the balance of the omnipotent role that Congress continues to have over its colony. The leaked banter merits condemnation.
Article publihshed in NBC Latino, link here.
The U.S. House approved an amendment presented by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, on Thursday to allocate $10 million to use closed detonation chambers in efforts to clean up military ordnance in Vieques, a smaller island located about seven miles off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico that for over 60 years served as a bombing range and site for military-training exercises.
New York, NY– LatinoJustice PRLDEF submitted a public comment in May to the U.S. Navy detailing the ongoing health concerns of residents in Vieques affected by the Navy’s continued use of open-air burning and open detonation (OB/OD) as its preferred method of fulfilling its “clean-up” obligations to address over sixty years of military activities, including detonation of armaments on the island. Residents in Vieques continue to live with the long-term consequences of decades of weapons testing by the Navy, which have been exacerbated by their half-hearted clean-up tactics that ignore, and even aggravate, the health concerns of the people of Vieques. After much advocacy, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on an Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 that would authorize budgeting $10 million for closed detonation chambers to be used in the clean-up efforts in Vieques. If passed, this would signal an initial step towards a more responsible clean-up approach.