Puerto Rico in a state of emergency for gender-based violence until June 30, 2023

The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, announced this Thursday that extends until June 30, 2023 the State of Emergency in the face of cases of gender violence on the island, where this scourge claimed a new victim in the last few hours.

"The work we began on January 25, 2021 with the Declaration of Emergency and our unwavering commitment to eradicate violence is not over."the governor said in a statement.

Pierluisi guaranteed the commitment of his administration to give continuity to the initiatives and projects started and implemented by the Committee for Prevention, Support, Rescue, Education (PARE).

"Unfortunately, the fact is still palpable that gender-based violence continues to cause too much harm and cannot find space or tolerance in a modern Puerto Rico"he added.

Yesterday, a woman and her 17-year-old son were murdered in the municipality of Caguas and the Police are looking for a man who was a sentimental partner of the victim this Thursday as a suspect.

Also in Caguas, former Puerto Rican boxer Jesús Rojas Díaz, a former featherweight champion, was arrested today for allegedly assaulting his partner in the face and head in the presence of five minors.

According to the coordinator of the Gender Equity Observatory, Irma Lugo Nazario, so far this year 30 cases of femicide have been identified in Puerto Rico.

In the Executive Order, the Governor instructed government agencies to consider prevention, support, rescue, and education to combat gender-based violence to be in the highest public interest.

They must thus give continuity and follow-up to the initiatives and projects implemented by the Declaration of State of Emergency presented last year and to what is established in the recently signed Executive Order, including the identification of budget resources.

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During this time, the aforementioned PARE Committee has identified and recommended various initiatives and projects to achieve the eradication of gender-based violence, and has drawn up an Action Plan for the Execution and Implementation of the State of Emergency.

"I appreciate the commendable work and great effort of the PARE Committee(…) for all the achievements that are the result of hard work and as a team"said the governor.

Pierluisi cited the organizations Wings for Women Foundation, Peace Coordinator for Women, Matria Project, Network of Domestic Violence Shelters of Puerto Rico and the Center for Dominican Women.

Representatives of these organizations have insisted in recent days on the need to extend the Declaration of Emergency due to gender violence.

Also, this Thursday the governor, together with the presidents of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, Maite Oronoz Rodríguez, and the PARE Committee, Carmen Ana González Magaz, signed an updated version of the Intergovernmental Protocol against gender violence.

This protocol, in force since 2013, has the objective of coordinating the responseguidance and exchange of information for the care of survivors of gender violence.

The new version ensures that the justice system and government entities respond promptly, sensitively and in a coordinated and integrated manner to the intervention and care of survivors of this type of violence.

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