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  HOME | Caribbean

Puerto Rican Politician Says Authorities Cooked Up His Arrest

SAN JUAN – Lawmaker Hector Ferrer, deputy leader of Puerto Rico’s main opposition PPD and candidate for mayor of San Juan, said his arrest last week during a verbal altercation with a former girlfriend was an example of police misconduct.

Calling himself a victim of an “act of abuse and outrage on the part of the government branch,” he told a press conference that he will not abandon politics and that he will be San Juan’s future mayor.

Ferrer’s remarks come after he was detained for 13 hours last Wednesday for, according to the police report, causing damage to the furniture in the family home and using coarse language to his former girlfriend, Elisa Hernandez, in the presence of young children.

“I’ve been the victim of the action of the state directed at destroying my family nucleus,” Ferrer said.

He asked for the dismissal of the special prosecutor for crimes against women, Wanda Vazquez, and the secretary of family services Yanitzia Irizarry, accusing them of threatening Hernandez with taking away custody of her son from her if she did not act against the lawmaker.

Ferrer said Vazquez had offered Hernandez work in the department she heads during the course of the incident last week.

The legislator also asked that an investigation be opened against prosecutor Melissa Vazquez for lying to Hernandez about the consequences of not signing the sworn statement against him.

He said that he will lay out in a letter to Gov. Luis Fortuño the circumstances surrounding the incident, in which he said that the police ignored the explanations he and Hernandez gave them about resolving the situation privately.

Ferrer said police forced Hernandez to leave the house and lied in the report about what had happened there on Wednesday night.

His statement comes after Hernandez on Monday presented a sworn statement in which she alleged that she was coerced by government officials to criminally accuse the mayoral candidate.

Hernandez said that she made it clear to prosecutors that she had no interest in initiating criminal, disciplinary or administrative proceedings against Ferrer.

On Saturday, she sent a letter to Justice Secretary Guillermo Somoza Colombani in which she asked that judicial proceedings not be launched against Ferrer and informed him that she would not cooperate in any investigation against the lawmaker.

Colombani on Monday in remarks to the media defended the actions of his agency in the case.

Now the PPD leader in Puerto Rico’s lower house, Ferrer headed the party from 2008 to 2011. EFE
 

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