Voters in Puerto Rico recently took the first step towards statehood, a move many say is one of desperation, indicating how tough life is now in the Caribbean paradise. Puerto Rico has been in recession for more than six years, and the government is selling off its assets to cover massive debts. The island is plagued by violent crime as drug cartels move in from Mexico, and many residents are fleeing to find jobs on the mainland.
NPR's Greg Allen and David Greene examine these issues facing Puerto Rico -- and their implications for the rest of the U.S. -- in a four-part series airing on witf fm on Morning Edition, beginning Tuesday, February 5th.
- Part One - Tuesday, February 5 - Many Puerto Ricans who leave are settling in central Florida. They're often young, educated professionals, and some even relocate businesses there. NPR's Greg Allen reports from Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, where Puerto Ricans are transforming local neighborhoods, local economies and national politics.
- Part Two - Wednesday, February 6 - Puerto Rico's newly elected governor has to figure out how to solve an economic meltdown -- fast. Things are so bad, some analysts call Puerto Rico "the Greece of the Caribbean." David Greene reports from San Juan and Cabo Rojo to learn how relatives of the Puerto Rican residents of Central Florida profiled in the start of this series cope with their shattered economy.
- Part Three - Thursday, February 7 - Puerto Rico's per capita murder rate is five times that of the U.S. as a whole and three times Mexico's, mainly due to a huge increase in drug smuggling. David Greene talks to a man who created an anti-crime movement after his son's murder, and to the new commissioner trying to reform Puerto Rico's police force.
- Part Four - Friday, February 8 - David Greene visits legendary rapper Tego Calderon at his studio outside San Juan. Calderon built it close to where he grew up, and he's trying to turn around his economically depressed neighborhood.
Join witf for Morning Edition every weekday morning 5:00am until 9:00am.