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The Senator Visits Río Piedras

According to the Puerto Rico Police Superintendent, the end result of the Senate Majority Leader’s visit to an ex-governor’s foundation in Río Piedras—just a two-minute walk from the University of Puerto Rico student strike—was 16 wounded officers.

According to the senator, the purpose of his visit was to listen to the testimonies of three “ladies” who have benefitted from the foundation’s programming.

The ex-governor’s interest in his visit was a chance for her to lobby for legislative funds in a debt-stricken colony.

To substantiate her allegations, the Superintendent offered no evidence whatsoever of the wounds suffered by her agents.

The senator had announced his visit on his Facebook page, where he had previously threatened the Superintendent with an official Senate inquiry into the Police’s failure to arrest students during a protest staged at the Capitol Building the previous week.

At the protest last week, officers arrested a student for attempting to walk into the lobby of the Capitol Building and charged him assault.

Students interpreted the senator’s visit to Río Piedras as a provocation of sorts.

The end result of his visit, for me, was at least a dozen protesters who were pepper sprayed; two good friends who were hit with batons, many others pushed down or elbowed or threatened with lethal force.

To substantiate my allegations, I would say that student strikers are always right, especially in that moment when it felt like they managed to corral a few riot police officers, shouting “¡policía, fuera!”

By then, the senate majority leader had already fled Río Piedras.

When a senator must flee a place in custom-fitted SUVs, with dozens of riot police officers making way for the vehicles down a narrow street, pushing students, pinning them against parked cars, threatening to use their hand guns or their Tasers just because one of them got close enough to shout “¡Rivera Schatz, fuera!” to their face, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the only thing that remains for said senator to do on behalf of his country is to flee his country and seek refuge in a place where people do not dare confront him and chase him out.

I find it comforting to think that no such place exists; that the senator will have no choice but to flee from places over and over again; that he will always run into bodies surrounding the uniformed bodies that flank his SUVs; that, one day, those uniformed bodies will tire from always having to secure his getaways and will abandon their place in line. And so, the senator’s SUVs will have to go along the escape route unprotected. Then another day will come in which the getaway driver will also tire, and leave, and take the keys with him, leaving the senator alone in the backseat to stare at the crowd that gathers on the other side of the window. And he will not know what to do.

Well, maybe he can post something about the event on Facebook.

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