Puerto Rico has been under fire for major corruption in the wake of last year’s response to Hurricane Maria. Though the anti-Trump Governor likes to blame him for the mess, the facts are that corruption caused severe issues with everything from misuse of funds to failure to disperse supplies. According to Blue Lives Matter, Puerto Rico Policia Agente Abdiel Santana took photos of $22M worth of bottled water that was left in the hot sun on a runway for months and never distributed. Now Puerto Rico has reportedly launched an “informal investigation” to see if he “violated” the rules by releasing the photos.
Blue Lives Matter reported,
A decorated member of the Policia de Puerto Rico’s elite FURA squad released multiple pictures of 20,800 pallets of water that have been left sitting abandoned on the runway of Jose Aponte De La Toree Airport in Ceiba…
…A source from Puerto Rico PD told Blue Lives Matter that numerous people knew the water had been sitting there for at least nine months before the pictures became public.
Puerto Rico Policia Agente Abdiel Santana, a 34-year veteran of the Puerto Rico police force, told David Begnaud of CBS that when he released the pictures, he was “mad” the water was still there, and that it had never been distributed to storm victims in need.
The pictures showed $22 million in bottled water delivered to Puerto Rico by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that had never been delivered to thirsty hurricane survivors.
FEMA said that it had initially been stored in containers that were costing $300,000 per day. So they placed it on the runaway and from there it was the responsibility of General Services Administration in Puerto Rico to distribute. But the General Services Administration claims that when they did give it away in May, there was feedback that the water had a “bad smell” so they did not distribute it further. In other words, the water is no longer drinkable and has been wasted because someone left it sitting in the hot sun for months.
So, now the government of Puerto Rico is seeking to go after the man who took the pictures, Agent Abdiel Santana. The pilot of the helicopter and crew have been summoned to appear before the Superintendent of Public Integrity. And of course, they are denying there is any investigation whatsoever.
Blue lives Matter continued:
A source in the Puerto Rico PD told Blue Lives Matter that Agente Santana is an airborne tactical observer in FURA’s elite Aviation Unit. As such, he is the crew member responsible for the safety of the helicopter and the operation of the infrared camera.
He is a highly decorated agent who has served in the air, marine, and K9 units of the island’s police force, according to the source.
Puerto Rico Police Commissioner Henry Escalera denied that any such investigation was happening.
“The Police Bureau has not initiated any administrative investigation against the personnel of the Bureau of the United Rapid Action Forces (FURA) in relation to the aerial photographs taken of the water bottles from the Federal Agency for Disaster Management (FEMA) in Ceiba,” Commissioner Escalera wrote in a statement to Telemundo.
However, Blue Lives Matter’s sources inside the Policia de Puerto Rico said that there most certainly is an informal investigation ongoing, and that they believe it’s meant to scare off other officers who might report government failures that they see on a daily basis, but that they’re downplaying it because of the public outcry.
“Dysfunctional Leadership” in any police department makes it nearly impossible to do the job they are tasked with – especially when they are politicized. But it appears that corruption from the entire government of Puerto Rico played a hand in making the people of the island suffer far more than was necessary.