Above: Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Alejandro Garcia Padilla was sworn in as the new governor of Puerto Rico in a ceremony in San Juan Wednesday.
Padilla succeeds Luis Fortuno, whom he defeated in the territory’s November election by less than 1 percentage point, as the 10th governor of Puerto Rico.
On Tuesday, Padilla, of Puerto Rico’s Popular Democratic Party, announced a series of key appointments to his security team for a territory that has seen a declining security situation.
Judge Joseph Negron Hernandez has been appointed Secretary of Correctiosns, and Colonel Juan Jose Medina has been named Adjutant General of the National Guard.
Also joining the security team of the new administration will be Miguel Riios Torres as Director Designate of the State Agency for Emergency Management and Disaster Management (AEMEAD).
Increasing crime in Puerto Rico, related in no small part to narcotrafficking through the territory, will have to be a major priority for the new administration.
Fortuño’s last year in office was marked by a call to US leaders to pay more attention to security on the “Caribbean border” in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Pedro Pierluisi, a member of Fortuño’s New Progressive Party, remains Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in Congress following his re-election.