Photo: Violent Weekend: Puerto Rico
The long weekend for Puerto Rico’s commonwealth holiday ended with eight people murdered, the Puerto Rico Police Department said Monday.
The latest violent deaths raise to 494 the number of killings so far this year, 65 fewer than by the same time last year.
The latest slaying was that of Christopher Paul Vazquez, 30, recently arrived from the United States, who was gunned down Sunday from a passing vehicle as he was riding in a car with some friends in the southern city of Ponce.
The other murders occurred in separate incidents all around the island.
Puerto Rico has suffered for years from a crime wave related to drug trafficking.
The Caribbean island is used by traffickers as a stepping stone for introducing the drug into continental United States.
Part of the drugs remain in Puerto Rico for local consumption, with criminal gangs disputing at gunpoint the locations for selling the narcotics.