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Thousands march against LUMA and its handling of the island’s electrical system

Thousands of people in Hato Rey demonstrated against LUMA Energy and its management of Puerto Rico’s electricity transmission and distribution systems and demanded that the contract between the Puerto Rican government and the company be voided.

Protesters gathered in front of Hiram Bithorn Municipal Stadium as they marched around 5:30 p.m. toward Las Américas Express, where police had to block traffic.

The tour witnessed demonstrations against the company whose contract marked the beginning of the privatization of the Electric Power Authority. Among the complaints of the demonstrators are the continuous interruptions in the electricity service, the company’s response time and bills to subscribers.

“We’re tired of going home and realizing we don’t have electricity,” said Mayra Rivera, 55, adding that she was particularly concerned about her parents, who are in their 90s, and the sweltering heat in the house.

Among those at the rally was Juan Antonio Rivera, 78, who said the latest power outage left him in the dark this week for 43 hours. Previous devices damaged both computers.

“And it costs $200 to fix one,” he said. “I have the receipts here to take to Loma.”

Un manifestante, que trabajaba como operador de líneas para la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica, se puso en ropa de trabajo, con todo y casco y cinturón de herramientas, y dijo que estaba frustrado y enfadado porá los madre ap the bed.

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“You will suffer,” he said.

As the sun set, their cell phone lights lit up the Expreso Las Américas, whose lighting system hadn’t worked in years.

The march ended at the starting point, where a platform was created from which many of the citizens present addressed.

Although the afternoon started with a heavy rain in the Hato Rey area, weather conditions improved during the activity.

Many citizens interviewed by Metro said they had to park far away Before road closures by the police. The mayors denounced the same when they reached the area around Hiram Bithorn.

The rally took place on the same day that LUMA announced that it was providing electricity for the first time to a community on the island municipality of Culebra that had relied exclusively on generators or solar panels. On Friday, the company was also authorized to launch eight transmission and distribution reconstruction projects worth $117 million.

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