Amidst Puerto Rico Financial Crisis, Island Religious Leaders Call for Global Debt and Transparency Policies

San Juan, Puerto Rico - Last week, Archbishop Roberto González—the leader of the Archdiocese of San Juan, the Secretary General of the Puerto Rico Bible Society—Reverend Heriberto Martínez and the island's Catholic Charities head, Reverend Enrique Camacho released a statement urging solidarity with countries wrestling with debt crisis and economic challenges.

“In hope and solidarity, we also stand with our friends across the developing world wrestling with debt crises and high child poverty rates. We support the proposals of our religious partners across the Caribbean calling for debt relief in the face of hurricanes and natural disasters," stated González, Martínez and Camacho in a statement released at the 500 year-old Cathedral of San Juan Bautista. "We stand with our global partners and the United Nations calling for debt relief, transparency, responsible lending and borrowing, anti-corruption efforts and the right to a global bankruptcy process that lifts the vulnerable."

Puerto Rico is mired in a $72 billion debt crisis and struggling to recover from 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the statement, the religious leaders expressed concern over the island's debt crisis, pension protections and austerity policies in Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rico continues to struggle with disaster recovery, debt crisis and child poverty and migration epidemics," noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. "While Puerto Rico's religious leaders continue to confront the challenges facing their own people, they continue to express their wishes for global policy changes to lift vulnerable people in every corner of the world."

Read the full Puerto Rico religious leader statement in English

Read the full Puerto Rico religious leader statement in español