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Thu Apr 30, 2020, 10:30 PM

Puerto Rico Police Arrest Advocate For The Poor

April 30, 20205:02 PM ET

Updated: 7:37 p.m. EST

Puerto Rico's police have arrested a well-known advocate for the poor who in recent days had been calling on the government to allow school cafeterias to distribute meals to children going hungry during the island's coronavirus shutdown.

Giovanni Roberto Cez helps run a small network of community-run soup kitchens known as "comedores sociales."

On Thursday morning, he was leading a caravan of cars making their way through the streets of Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan, to protest what many on the island have seen as the government's indifference to a growing hunger crisis as Puerto Rico enters its eighth week of an economic shutdown.

Puerto Rico has a higher rate of poverty than any U.S. state. Bureaucratic hurdles have delayed the arrival of federal stimulus checks and people's access to unemployment insurance, and until Wednesday night, the island's governor, Wanda Vzquez, had refused to allow school cafeterias to distribute meals to needy families the way they have in most U.S. communities during the pandemic.


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