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    Puerto Rico on alert due to alleged terrorist threat against power grid

    November 29, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras


      San Juan, Nov. 28. State and federal authorities are on alert Monday for an alleged "terrorist threat" against Puerto Rico's electricity system, operated by LUMA Energy, the target of numerous criticisms.

      The sabotage warning call was received a few days ago through the 9-1-1 emergency system in New York, which informed its counterparts in Puerto Rico, according to the island's Police Bureau.

      The secretary of the Department of Public Safety, Alexis Torres, explained Monday that it was "an unusual call" and that they are in contact with federal agencies to increase vigilance and prevent possible sabotage.

      The threats are directed against LUMA Energy, the company in charge of the transmission and distribution of electricity on the island, whose contract will be renewed this week despite popular protests calling for its cancellation.

      Police Bureau Commissioner Antonio Lopez Figueroa described the threat as "terrorist in nature" and ordered a security plan to be put in place.

      "Regardless of where a terrorist threat originates and who makes it, the Bureau responds with the seriousness it deserves to prevent any incident that threatens the stability of the system on which all citizens in Puerto Rico depend," he said.

      For the moment, the origin of the threat is unknown and no act of vandalism or other anomaly has been reported after the inspection of the entire infrastructure.

      LUMA Energy indicated in written statements that it "takes all threats to the electric grid seriously and will continue to work with federal and local authorities to address any risks to the electric system."

      Several organizations have called for protests tomorrow, Tuesday, in Old San Juan against the contract with LUMA, a company they blame for the frequent blackouts the island suffers.

      The Jornada Se Acabaron Las Promesas, Frente Socialista, Comité de Solidaridad con Cuba, Agitarte, Asamblea de Pueblo de Bayamón and Movimiento de Socialista de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores, among others, are expected to participate in the demonstration.

      "The Government of Puerto Rico foolishly and irresponsibly insists on maintaining and prolonging the contract with the company LUMA," denounced the organizations, which criticized that "blackouts and the continued weakening of the (electrical) infrastructure have caused serious damage to the health, safety and economy" of the island.

      LUMA assumed in June 2021 the transmission and distribution of electric power, while generation remains in the hands of the state-owned Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

      The power grid was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in 2017 and projects to restore it in a stable manner are progressing slowly. EFE



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