Puerto Rico House of Representatives: Do Not Eliminate Hate Crime Protections
  • Petitioned Hon. Jenniffer González

This petition was delivered to:

President, Puerto Rico House of Representatives
Hon. Jenniffer González
Puerto Rico House of Representatives
Hon. Lisa Fernández
Minority Whip
Luis Raúl Torres Cruz
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Senate President
Thomas Rivera Schatz
Department of Justice, Civil Rights
Luis E. Saucedo
Regional Director, United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service
Reinaldo Rivera, Jr
Majority Leader
Hon. Carlos J. Méndez Núñez
Majority Whip
Angel Perez Otero
Minority Leader
Héctor Ferrer Ríos
Speaker Pro Tempore
Hon. Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló
U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton
Gov. Luis Fortuño
Personal Executive Admin Assistant to the Governor
Evelyn Cruz
Tere Nolla
Assistant Secretary of the Interior For Insular Areas
Anthony M. Babauta
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice
Thomas Perez
President Barack Obama

Puerto Rico House of Representatives: Do Not Eliminate Hate Crime Protections

    1. Jorge Sepulveda
    2. Petition by

      Jorge Sepulveda

      arlington, VA

Puerto Rico Senate approved a provision to the penal code that would eliminate hate as an aggravating factor for crimes motiviated by prejudice against gender, real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, and ethnic origin. This amendment to the penal code will affect minority groups in Puerto Rico. The House is expected to vote on this amendment to the Penal Code and they need to know how this amendment will affect its citizens.

The rise of murder in Puerto Rico is alarming. Amendments like these stop protecting minority groups which are already in grave danger as it is evident in the increase of attacks to people of the LGBTTQ community, women, and to Dominican Republic imigrants. Among the most notorious cases are the 2009 gay teenager called Jorge Steven Lopez who was stabbed to death, decapitated, dismembered and burned, and the case of Johan Martinez, a young Dominican man who was gunned down while being insulted by racial slurs. Since then, many other brutal attacks have occurred.

The Justice Department cited an inadequate response to hate crimes as among the Puerto Rico Police Department’s numerous deficiencies in a damning report released in September 2010. The Puerto Rico Department of Justice is yet to recognize and process a hate crime in the Island.

In a time when governments worldwide are creating new rules to increase protections to their people, it is a shame to see the Government of Puerto Rico creating amendments to remove protections. This needs to stop and we’re calling on the Puerto Rico House of Representatives to prevent this amendment to the penal code.


Cámara de Representantes de Puerto Rico: No Eliminen las Protecciones por Crímenes de Odio

El Senado de Puerto Rico aprobó una provision en el Código Penal que eliminiaría el ángulo de odio como agravante en crímenes motivados por prejuicio por razón de género, orientación sexual -real o percibida-, identidad de género y origen étnico.  Esta enmienda afectará a las comunidades minoritarias o desventajadas socialmente de nuestro país. La Cámara de Representantes próximamente votará al respecto, por lo que les hacemos un llamado a que ejerzan su deber constitucional de legislar en favor de la seguridad de todas y todos sus ciudadanos.

El alza en las cifras de asesinatos en Puerto Rico es alarmante; medidas como esta, desprotegen a comunidades que de por sí están en peligro, como evidencia el aumento de asesinatos y agresiones a personas de las comunidades LGBTTQ, a mujeres y a la comunidad de inmigrantes dominicanos.  Entre los casos más conocidos, recordemos que en el 2009, un joven de 19 años, Jorge Steven Lopez, fue acuchillado, decapitado, desmembrado y quemado. O el caso de Johan Martínez, jóven dominicano que al momento de ser baleado, lo que escuchó como razón fue un insulto xenofóbico.

En un reporte oficial de septiembre de 2010, el Departamento de Justicia citó la deficiencia con que la Policía de Puerto Rico ha manejado los crímenes de odio. El Departamento de Justicia de Puerto Rico no ha procesado, porque no ha reconocido, crímenes de odio en la Isla hasta la fecha.

En momentos en que los gobiernos en todo el mundo estan creando nuevas reglas para aumentar las protecciones de sus cuidadanos, es una verguenza ver cómo el Gobierno de Puerto Rico crea enmiendas para quitar protecciones. Esto debe parar y exhortamos a la Cámara de Representantes a que detengan esta enmienda al Código Penal.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 17,500 signatures
    2. Analysis at Huff Post on efforts to change Puerto Rico's hate crimes law

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Michael Lavers offers some more context and analysis on why it's so important for Puerto Rico to keep in place hate crimes protections for LGBT people.

    3. More than 16000 sign petition to eliminate Hate Crime penalties

      Jorge Sepulveda
      Petition Organizer

      One of PR's main newspaper covered our petition now that it reached 16000 signatures. (In Spanish)

    4. Un fantasma que ya no mete mucho miedo

      Jorge Sepulveda
      Petition Organizer

      Analysis of the subject. (Spanish)

    5. DailyKos covers efforts to repeal LGBT protections in hate crimes law

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Scott Wooledge writes about efforts to repeal protections for LGBT people in Puerto Rico's hate crimes law. As Scott notes, the Puerto Rican LGBT community has seen a sharp escalation of hate crimes, more than two dozen LGBT people have been murdered there since 2009.

    6. Reached 15,000 signatures
    7. Puerto Rico Gov. Fortuño says he supports LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño indicated to reporters on Friday, Dec. 9, that he supports the island’s current hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

    8. Reached 12,500 signatures
    9. Ricky Martin urges pressure on Puerto Rico House of Representatives

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Do you follow @ricky_martin on Twitter? The mega star urged his followers yesterday to speak out against efforts in Puerto Rico to eliminate hate crimes protections for LGBT people. Check out his statement on the issue.

    10. Reached 4,000 signatures
    11. Congressman Luis Gutierrez against amendment

      Jorge Sepulveda
      Petition Organizer

      (article in spanish)

    12. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Blake Scahmber ORLANDO, FL
      • about 2 years ago


    • Laura Macias SAN DIEGO, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      I'm a proud lesbian!

      Racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ecocide, anti-Kemetic violence are all crimes against humanity.

    • Elisha Garrido GULFPORT, MS
      • about 2 years ago

      The intellectual level of these politicians is in question here. How one can deny victims the right to claim a hate crime, when it clearly is, is beyond me.

    • angel campbell FORT WAYNE, IN
      • about 2 years ago

      Cuz I respect the gay community.

    • Sandra Feijoo QUEEN CREEK, AZ
      • about 2 years ago

      Why is this important to you? There is a lot of gay bashing and bullying going on in Puerto Rico. Particulary the major TV channels that feature programing during the hours of 6:00 pm. Specifically ' La Comay' and they publicly humiliated a well known public figure when they deemed or suspected him to be gay, and launched an attack to publicly lacerate the individual. Another program showed skits of that same person, who recently lost his job, and the highlight of the piece was that showing replacements applying for his job all to be gay. I feel bad for anyone who may be gay and imagined they would be reluctant in becoming public figures in Puerto Rico in fear of the humiliation they would face as well as their love ones by the media. Being gay is not a crime. Why would should they are made to feel like it is. I would like the videos posted on You Tube by these channels to be taken off the air as well.


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