The Department of Justice will conduct a criminal investigation into allegations of invasion and construction at the Gubos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in Salinasannounced this Wednesday afternoon, Secretary Domingo Emmanuel Hernandez.
The information comes after the former candidate and activist for governor Eliezer Molina Owners of trailers or mobile homes that are located on land in the Los Indios sector, in the Las Marias neighborhood of SalinasIt was removed from the area after reports of environmental impact in the area.
Construction and occupation could have taken place on land belonging to Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA), an agency that is already conducting an investigation into the matter.
As part of the investigation of justice, the prosecution Zilla N. Diaz Morales And the Roxanne Rivera Centron They will ask the relevant agencies to hand over a certified copy of the file and any document they have relating to the issue.
The Department of Justice explained in a press release that, at DNER’s request, in October 2021, it granted a waiver so that the agency could use private legal representation to present the case at the civil level.
“As far as I know, months after I assumed the position of Minister of Justice, this case has been under consideration since August 2020 in the Civil Secretariat, since the assessment made by the agency’s prosecutors, based on the information provided by the Department of Natural Resources, the Public Prosecution cannot file a criminal case” , The official reported.
Yesterday, a meeting was held with the heads and representatives of the various government agencies that deal with various aspects related to the situation.
In the ecological reserve, a residential area has been developed camp, apparently without permission from the relevant government agencies. For these tasks, the mangroves were cut down and the marine and terrestrial area was populated.
Reportedly, since 2015, the situation has been reported to DNER, without knowing what, if any, was investigated, and why the necessary steps were not taken to stop construction while identifying potential environmental violations.
Bahia Gobos National Estuarine Research Reserve is the second largest estuarine area in Puerto Rico. It stretches between the municipalities of Guayama and Salinas and its territory was acquired by DNER in 1981. Soon after, the area was designated a national reserve by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The agency is co-manager of the land.
The government’s actions come days after a representative Citizen victory movement (CVM), Mariana Nogalesdecried that, as of 2018, NOAA “warning” DNER that illegal construction within the preserve is inconsistent with the conservation and research goals “of the protected area.”
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