Target: Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Goal: Put an end to the rising drug trade in Puerto Rico
The international drug trade has turned Puerto Rico, “the island of enchantment,” into one of the most dangerous places on American soil. With a murder rate of approximately six times that of the national average, Puerto Rico has greatly eclipsed every other state in America. As the United State strengthens efforts to rein in drug-related crime on the Mexican border many fear that crime on the Caribbean island has been left to flourish.
Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) explained that, “[The cartels] realize we’re putting all of our efforts on the Southwest border (with Mexico) and we’re not paying attention to the ‘third border’—the Caribbean—so now they’re exploiting that.” According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), drug seizures have ballooned within the last couple of years with 9,275 pounds of illegal drugs apprehended in 2010, 13,961 pounds in 2011 and 22,000 pounds so far this year—an amount that can fetch a street price of $250 million (in cocaine alone).
Even as the Puerto Rican police force works to clean up their “broken” justice system, leaders maintain that without the help of the federal government this issue will not be able to fix itself. Hector Pesquera, the superintendent of the Puerto Rico police understands that the federal government is in the midst of its own financial upheaval but maintains that they “should not be begging for assistance.” The problem in Puerto Rico is no longer lurking and as such can no longer be ignored.
Luis Romero Font, an activist who lost his son in a tragic murder linked to the drug trade, puts it simply, “Either [the U.S.] stops this now, or this crime wave will become something that infects Florida and the rest of the U.S. down the line.” Sign the petition below to encourage the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to focus on stopping the drug trade in Puerto Rico, America’s third border.
Dear Ms. Napolitano,
Right now, violence is tearing up Puerto Rico, making it one of the most dangerous places in America. With a murder rate six times that of the national average and a ballooning drug trade, Puerto Rico is desperately looking for some support from the U.S. federal government.
These are tough times and money is not as easy to come by but resources need to be allocated to Puerto Rico to end the drug trade before it becomes uncontrollable. Already like what can be seen in areas of Mexico, the drug trade has the ability to upturn normal life and catapult it into terror.
If things continue the way they are in Puerto Rico, the rest of the United States will soon be feeling the fallback. The Puerto Rican drug trade needs to stop and it needs to stop now. Puerto Rico can no longer be a corridor through which cartels are able to make money off exploiting vulnerable passageways. I ask you to focus your attention, and the attention of the Department of Homeland Security, on putting an end to the rising drug trade in Puerto Rico.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: The United States Department of Justice