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Masked and Armed With Rifles: Military Security Firms Roam Streets of San Juan

Masked and Armed With Rifles: Military Security Firms Roam Streets of San Juan

The CPI asked Héctor Pesquera, secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, if a special permit was issued to private security companies to carry rifles after Hurricane María made landfall.

Does the federal weapons law allow private security guards to carry long weapons?, the CPI asked Rosa Emilia Rodríguez, head of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Puerto Rico.

I don’t know of any legal authorization to carry long guns in private service in Puerto Rico,” said Adalberto Mercado, vice president of operations for private security company Ranger America.

On the entry of U.S. security companies into Puerto Rico, Mercado, Ranger America’s vice president of operations, said, “We have signed service contracts with U.S. security firms that have hired us to in turn provide security to clients they have here in Puerto Rico… I would say there are large numbers (of companies), but we have seen hiring (of U.S. security companies) in the area of communications and in the hotel area.

“I really don’t know the answer,” said Alejandro De La Campa, director of FEMA in Puerto Rico, when the CPI asked if the agency had hired private security companies to work in Puerto Rico and, specifically, The Whitestone Group.

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