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Puerto Ricans March to Protest Ongoing Power Outages After Privatization of Electric Grid

HeadlineOct 18, 2021

In Puerto Rico, over 4,000 people took to the streets of San Juan Friday to protest ongoing and worsening power outages and increases in energy costs following the U.S.-imposed privatization of the electricity grid.

Protesters: “¡LUMA afuera! ¡LUMA afuera! ¡LUMA afuera! ¡LUMA afuera!”

Demonstrators chanted “Get out, LUMA!” as they shut down traffic on a main highway. LUMA, a U.S. and Canadian company, took over Puerto Rico’s transmission and distribution of power in June. Residents of the island say the power cuts have damaged appliances and can be life-threatening to those who rely on certain medical machines. Earlier this month, California Congressmember Katie Porter grilled LUMA CEO Wayne Stensby during a virtual hearing.

Rep. Katie Porter: “How many blackouts have been reported since LUMA took over on June 1?”

Wayne Stensby: “The system has a very large number of outages, Congresswoman, both before and after.”

Rep. Katie Porter: “Can you count them? Is it so big you can’t even keep track of them all?”

Wayne Stensby: “There are outages every single day.”

Congressmembers Porter and Raúl Grijalva have requested LUMA turn over multiple documents by the end of this week.

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