Things That Matter

At The Unity March For Puerto Rico Rita Moreno Called Trump’s Paper Towel Throwing ‘Obscene’

Credit: NBC Latino

On Sunday, Puerto Rican icon Rita Moreno joined Lin-Manuel Miranda and thousands of other protestors to support the “Unity March for Puerto Rico” in Washington D.C. With half of the island still without electricity and many without clean drinking water or food, protestors took to the capitol to demand more be done for Puerto Rico.

Miranda could be seen at the head of the march taking selfies with the crowd.

They marched to the Lincoln Memorial where Miranda stopped to address the large group.

Protesters sang classic Puerto Rican chants along the march route.

From “¡Que bonita bandera!” to “¡Yo soy Boricua, pa’ que tu lo sepa!” the crowd shouted the classic chants heartily along with Miranda and his family.

Many marched with anti-Trump signs that showed their frustrations with the government’s tepid hurricane relief efforts.

President Trump visited the island two weeks after the Hurricane Maria disaster. Many felt he made a public display of ignorance by throwing rolls of paper towels at survivors. He also openly celebrated that “only 16” people, at that point, had died. He later claimed that Puerto Ricans wanted “everything done for them” on Twitter.

Although Trump claimed that Puerto Ricans want “everything done for them,” the administration hasn’t really spent as much for Puerto Rico as it did for Texas and Florida.

Credit: The Opposition with Jordan Klepper/ YouTube

According to information obtained from FEMA by “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper,” Puerto Rico has gotten significantly less aid than other parts of the U.S. for similar hurricane disasters.

Moreno spoke to the crowds at the march and brought up the paper towel incident.

Moreno spoke passionately to the crowd saying “Our people are hungry, thirsty, sick, and as a panacea, are having rolls of paper towels thrown at them as though they were animals. That is insulting. That is obscene.”

The march took place on November 19th, a date that is symbolic in Puerto Rico’s history.

November 19th marks the 524th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ accidental landing in Puerto Rico. His arrival marked the beginning of the end for Los Taínos, the indigenous people of the island. Puerto Rico is still marred by the continuing effects of colonialism and continues to be neglected by the United States.

Moreno and Miranda both addressed the crowd.

Buttoned up for warmth, Moreno threw her fist in the air, the universal symbol for unity, solidarity, and resistance.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez also addressed the crowd.

Congressman Adriano Espaillat, waved a Puerto Rican flag while marching with the crowd.

Listen to Moreno and Miranda address the crowd that gathered at the Lincoln Memorial.

Participants in the Unity for Puerto Rico March made it to the Lincoln Memorial and were rewarded with speeches from Rita Moreno and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Posted by NBC Latino on Sunday, November 19, 2017

Credit: NBC Latino/ Facebook

Takeaways from the day are that Puerto Rico needs more help and more aid; that the Jones Act be lifted for the island to receive help much more easily; and that the islands $70+ billion in debt, which has mostly been created by the Jones Act, be forgiven; and that not only is the current administration’s reaction to the disaster inadequate, it is also a slap in the face.


[H/T] NBC Latino

READ: Rejoice! Netflix Gives ‘One Day At A Time’ Another Season


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Puerto Rican Boxer Félix Verdejo Sánchez Pleads Not Guilty To Charges Of Killing Of Pregnant Woman

Things That Matter

Puerto Rican Boxer Félix Verdejo Sánchez Pleads Not Guilty To Charges Of Killing Of Pregnant Woman

Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo Sánchez is charged with murdering Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, who was pregnant at the time. In a virtual court hearing earlier this week, Verdejo Sánchez pleaded not guilty to federal charges related to the murder.

Boxer Félix Verdejo Sánchez is being charged with murder in connection to the death of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz.

Earlier this month, news broke that Rodríguez Ortiz’s body was found floating in a lagoon. The news shocked Puerto Rico because Rodríguez Ortiz was pregnant when she was killed. Verdejo Sánchez, who is married and has a young daughter, was quickly arrested and charged with murder in connection with her death.

According to an FBI complaint, Verdejo Sánchez is accused of punching Rodríguez Ortiz in the face before injecting her with an unknown substance. She was then tied up and heavy blocks were attached to the bindings before being thrown from a bridge. Verdejo Sánchez then allegedly shot at Rodríguez Ortiz’s body before fleeing the scene.

Verdejo Sánchez and Luis Antonio Cádiz Martínez were both indicted in the crime.

According to reports, Cadíz Martinez helped Verdejo Sánchez commit the crime and has worked as a witness for the FBI as they investigate the murder. Both men have pleaded not guilty to one count of carjacking resulting in death, one count of kidnapping resulting in death, and one count of killing an unborn child. Verdejo Sánchez is also facing one count of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The two men are facing federal charges that could come with federal death penalties.

The death penalty is illegal in Puerto Rico but special circumstances in the case could mean federal death penalties. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico said in a statement that the crime was done “by payment or the promise of payment.” That is enough to escalate the matter to a federal crime.

“Keishla Rodríguez-Ortiz was taken from a family that loved her, and she and her child were denied the most fundamental right of life, and the joy of knowing what that life could have been,” United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow said in a statement. “We hope that this process brings some measure of solace to Keishla’s family. This case also underscores the message of cooperation with law enforcement that I have been repeating to the community – If you have knowledge of criminal activity, even if you are a participant in that activity, do the right thing and come forward to authorities. The prosecutors and the law enforcement agencies that have worked tirelessly, and who continue to assist in the ongoing investigation of this case, are to be commended.”

Rodríguez Ortiz’s death has sparked outrage as the island confronts a spike in femicide since January.

Twenty-one women have been killed in Puerto Rico since the beginning of the year. According to Observatorio de Equidad de Género, 60 women were killed last year in Puerto Rico, which is a 62 percent increase from 2019. Puerto Ricans are demanding justice and answers as the same femicide gripping the rest of Latin America is on the rise.

This story is ongoing and mitú will update on the story as it develops.

READ: Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

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The Rita Moreno Documentary, ‘Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It’ Will Cover the Icon’s 70-Year Career

Entertainment

The Rita Moreno Documentary, ‘Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It’ Will Cover the Icon’s 70-Year Career

Courtesy of MGM

The documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It”, will hit theaters on June 18th. As you can probably guess, the film focuses on the indomitable EGOT-winning icon Boricua.

Director, fellow Boricua Mariem Pérez Riera, says the movie will offer a stripped-down, intimate portrait of the real Rita Moreno.

“We always knew that we wanted this documentary to not be just a showreel of her career and how great she is,” Pérez Riera told NBC News.

“When I make or watch a documentary, I want to be able to know that person more than just what I already know, so it was very important for me to go deeper and to understand her as a human being.”

Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Pérez Riera explained that she wanted to make a Rita Moreno documentary because she related to Moreno. Especially to Moreno’s struggles with discrimination and insecurity.

“I related to all she was saying, her stories about discrimination, the insecurities she felt because of the way others perceived her, the complicated love relationships, and the constant need to work three times harder to prove to others that she is worthy,” said Pérez Riera.

Much of the Rita Moreno documentary focuses on Moreno’s struggle against a racist and sexist industry. Hollywood repeatedly pigeonholed and underestimated her.

At the start of her career, Moreno was only cast in roles of ambiguously brown characters. She played Native American, Filipino, Hawaiian, and Thai roles.

“I wanted to turn the parts down, but that’s all that was offered and I had to make a living,” Moreno reveals in the film. “I was kind of stuck.”

The Rita Moreno documentary also features dozens of interviews of Moreno’s friends, fans, and previous co-workers. The list includes Morgan Freeman, Gloria Estefan, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and her “West Side Story” co-star, George Chakiris. Many of them reflect on the impact Moreno made on Hollywood.

Although Moreno has always been proud of her Puerto Rican heritage, she struggled with her sense of self-worth in Hollywood.

“When I went to Hollywood, I really learned where I stood in the world, and it was so sad and frustrating,” Moreno explained in an interview with the LA Times while promoting the documentary.

“There is something so awful about, if you were a performer, asking your agent to submit you for something and the people won’t even see you because they think you’re too Spanish or something. It’s so frustrating and you want to run and knock their door down and say: ‘Look, let me read this scene for you. I’m good. I’m really good. Let me. Watch me. Listen to me.'”

The documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” will hit theaters on June 18th. So mark your calendars!

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