Puerto Rico Sociology

1711 Words7 Pages
Puerto Rico and the United States have a different type of relationship. Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States in 1898, under the Treaty of Paris after the Spanish American War.(Orellana, 2015) Since, many of the island’s customs have remained the same. Their language, their food, and their music, many of their cultural influences have remained predominately spanish related. Though the United States influences Puerto Rico in many different ways, such as American politics, where though the chief of state is President Obama, Puerto Rico has a governor who is the head of the commonwealth and makes most of the decisions. Puerto Ricans are considered American citizens, though, are not afforded the same rights that come with statehood. Such…show more content…
With time and calculated moves, the gangs of Puerto Rico created an overpowering presence in both jail system and the street sale of narcotics. Back in 1997, Mireya Navarro of the New York Times wrote about the gangs of Puerto Rico and how they were taking over the prison system in his article titled “In the Prisons of Puerto Rico, Gangs Have the Upper Hand”. Navarro wrote about the corruption taking place as Puerto Rico 's most notorious gang, the Ñetas, were controlling and manipulating the jail system. The Ñetas are Puerto Rico’s largest and most expansive gang in Puerto Rico. They currently have more than 30,000 members worldwide and play a large role in the puerto rican drug trade. (prisonoffenders.com) After the brutal murder of Carlos Torres-Irriarte in 1980, Ñeta leaders reorganized the gang 's constitution and discarded many of its original rules. Members were now required to deal narcotics for the gang and smuggle drugs into prison. (prisonoffenders.com) This creates a form of respect and fear from other gang members and correctional officers as the Ñetas have power and overall numbers, thousands of Ñeta members were paroled, causing the organization to take control of the drug and prostitution trade in several New York districts. The violent gang is involved in high intensity drug dealing, firearms and explosives trafficking, murder and robbery.…show more content…
Another topic which is of concern for the both the United States and Puerto Rico, in relation to prisons, is overcrowding. Puerto Rico is currently sitting at a 90% capacity with prisoners in its jail system, and with crime rising and more people becoming incarcerated, overcrowding is soon to be a major problem for the island. (prisonstudies.org(P.R)) Overcrowding is not a new issue for Puerto Rico, in 1933, Oso Blanco, the island 's first prison aimed at rehabilitating criminals, opened. It featured workshops and an inmate run farm. It worked as a form of reward for the prisoners to be able to work on these jobs and give them a feeling of improvement rather than shame. But, the vision in mind during its inception had all but crumbled amid overcrowding that began in the 1950s and violent clashes among inmates and guards ensued. It soon gave birth to two notorious gangs, whose members launched a violent war for supremacy.(Coto, D., 2014) Judge Juan M. Perez-Gimenez of United States District Court, presided over a class action filed by inmates in 1979 over prison overcrowding. Just in 2007, a federal district court in Puerto Rico held that the governor of Puerto Rico and island prison officials were in contempt of court for violating an injunction requiring that prisoners be given first 35 square feet, then 50 ft., then 70 square feet of living space per prisoner.(prisonlegalnews.org) The sanction imposed was $50,000 plus $10 per prisoner per day for each prisoner held in
Open Document