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Puerto Rico

LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Argentine Trans Icon Murder, Fleeing Russia, Bad Bunny Kiss — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

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Puerto Rico Faces Its Own Gun Culture Problem

Gun sales have soared since a 2020 law made the process faster, easier and cheaper.

BAYAMÓN, PUERTO RICO — The Puerto Rico Weapons Act of 2020, which made legally obtaining and carrying a firearm much easier, is now over two years old — and Puerto Ricans are buying guns as never before. Nearly 100,000 gun licenses were issued in 2020 and 2021 in total, compared to around 1,200 in 2017.

While the law may have brought Puerto Rico’s gun regulations in line with the Constitution of the United States, other factors underscored the push: a perception that crime is on the rise, that the police are helpless in tackling it — and that carrying a gun is an effective self-defense measure.

Crime and police data from the past 50 years, however, show that these perceptions don’t match reality: Violent crime has been in decline for two decades in Puerto Rico, and the number of police officers per capita is well above the U.S. national average.

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LGBTQ Reggaeton, Hitting Macho Music Scene With Beats And Politics

Queer artists are finding their voices in the thumping beats and dance-hall rhythms of reggaeton, a genre that has historically been anything but inclusive.

RÍO PIEDRAS — It’s midnight at the Casa Cultural Ruth Hernández Torres, a historic house that serves as a cultural and community center. Blue and pink lights flash as Ana Macho takes to the dance floor. Sporting pink sunglasses and athletic attire, surrounded by dozens of fans swaying to the Caribbean rhythms, the artist sings about freedom, survival, and economic and social justice.

“It’s about the paradise that Puerto Rico is, but the one who lives here can’t live it,” says Ana Macho, whose original song “Blin Blin” embodies this message.

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Fighting For Puerto Rico's Solar Revolution — And Against Sexism

Can Puerto Rico’s abundant sunshine and ambitious women unlock its renewable energy potential?

OROCOVIS, PUERTO RICO — Every few weeks, Yadira Sánchez Fuentes fearlessly descends waterfalls and slippery caverns, often the only woman among a group of caving enthusiasts. The rest of the month, with that same strength, smile and sense of satisfaction, the petite brunette confidently scales rooftops to help install solar panels, simultaneously tackling two outdated problems: Puerto Rico’s energy grid and gender stereotypes.

“We have to create leaders, not followers,” the 44-year-old says.

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Puerto Rico

Is Puerto Rico (Finally) Set To Become The 51st State?

SAN JUAN — The Puerto Rican Senate's approval of a bill last week to hold a referendum to give voters a stark choice between statehood or independence looks like it may settle the island's status once and for all. Leading Puerto Rican daily El Nuevo Día reports that the vote, set for June 11, will be the first in the island's history to offer citizens a binary choice between becoming the 51st U.S. state or declaring independence, excluding the option of retaining its current status as an American territory. The vote will be the fifth time Puerto Ricans have been called to the polls to decide their status since the island came under U.S. control in 1898.

In every previous referendum the most popular option was remaining a commonwealth except for the last vote in 2012 when voters opted for statehood — although more than half a million blank ballots were cast, prompting Washington to ignore the result. The Senate's decision last Thursday to move forward with the vote this year has generated intense controversy, with the opposition Popular Democratic Party (PPD) announcing it would appeal to the federal Department of Justice to prevent it from occurring.

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Puerto Rico's Outrage At Massive Black Out

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El Nuevo Dia — Sept. 23, 2016

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