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Latino Daily News

Friday April 29, 2011

Puerto Rico: Number of Minors Involved in Crime Increasing

Puerto Rico: Number of Minors Involved in Crime Increasing

Photo: Condado in San Juan Puerto Rico where a 14y.o. stabbed a man to death

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In Puerto Rico, authorities are worried about the rising number of young people becoming involved in criminal activity.

The day after Julian Romero Rodriguez, 21, was stabbed to death on a beach in San Juan’s upscale Condado neighborhood, police discovered that the suspect, Jose Figueroa Sancha was just 14. Police say, even at 14, Sancha already has a substantial criminal past.

After the slaying, police increased security in Condado, but the increased youth-committed crime has authorities worried.

Secretary of the Puerto Rican Department of Families, Yanitsia Irizarry Mendez, said for young people like Sancha, who get into trouble as pre-teens, rehabilitation is very difficult. She said Puerto Rico needs prevention programs for its youth that show explain the dangers of living a criminal lifestyle.

The Latin American Herald Tribune wrote, “Authorities say 124 of the 357 homicides registered so far this year in Puerto Rico are related to a battle between gangs for control of drug corners.”

Launched in December 2009, a police operation has led to the elimination of 300 drug corners and the arrest of nearly 1,200 people, but the crime continues, and it seems as though the young are following the example of the ever-increasing number of criminal adults on the island.