Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro García Padilla. (YouTube, screenshot)

Top Story — Puerto Rico’s government submitted a budget request on Wednesday of around $9.8 billion, representing austerity cuts of some $674 million as the U.S. territory continues to face a harsh financial crisis after eight years of economic recession. Struggling under the weight of $72 billion in public debt, the island’s Governor Alejandro García…

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Readers, Today in Latin America will be on hiatus until Dec. 1. Happy holidays! Top Story — Puerto Rican authorities on Tuesday announced the seizure of 500 kilograms of cocaine worth approximately $11.5 million, one of the largest drug busts this year. The seizure follows a series of significant drug hauls in the U.S. island…

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NEW YORK — The People’s Climate March drew more than 300,000 people to Manhattan on Sunday to demand world leaders to take action on climate change. Demonstrators came from all over the world, including many from Latin America. Latino immigrant farmers from Florida and Dominican construction workers from the Bronx also joined the mix. The march…

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Top Story — Puerto Rican officials reported that 70 percent of the 1,136 murders on the island last year could be attributed to drug violence, prompting Puerto Rican governor Luis Fortuño to ask the U.S. federal government to increase its assistance in patrolling Puerto Rico’s coasts. This week, Puerto Rican authorities made a major drug…

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Top Story — Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño has proposed an ambitious plan to make Puerto Ricans bilingual in English and Spanish by the year 2022, an effort that he hopes will pave the way for U.S. statehood. Fortuño wants public schools to teach all classes in English, with the exception of Spanish literature and grammar instruction….

Puerto Rican police stand on guard.

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Justice Department found evidence that the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) violated the Constitution and federal law by using excess and unreasonable force, making unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests and targeting individuals of Dominican descent among other problems. Launched in July of 2008, the investigation also found that the PRPD…

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Today in Latin America Top Story– Almost a million homes are without power in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Irene ripped through the U.S. territory Monday before picking up strength as the storm passed north of the Dominican Republic. Around 8p.m. on Monday, The United States National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm to Category 2 as…

President Barack Obama talks with Puerto Rican Senator Alejandro García Padilla during a lunch stop (White House photo).

Today in Latin America Top Story — Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president since since John F. Kennedy to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, fulfilling a promise he made back on the campaign trail in 2008. Speaking during a welcome event at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Obama highlighted…

Barack Obama in Puerto Rico during his 2008 presidential campaign.

Puerto Rico’s governor announced Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama will visit the island next month, becoming the first president since John F. Kennedy to make an official visit to the territory. “Since the beginning of my administration, we have been working in close collaboration with the president and his administration to make this historic…

Mario Gonzales-Lafuente and Kenneth McClintock at the launch of a campaign to boost tourism in Puerto Rico.

NEW YORK—The Puerto Rican Government and tourism bureau have launched simultaneous campaigns intended to overcome economic challenges by sparking tourism and private investment. “Discover why Puerto Rico does it better,” reads the tagline for the joint tourism campaign launched by the Puerto Rican Governor’s Office and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company in New York on…