This week, Puerto Rico’s Ariadna Godreau Aubert – founder & executive director of Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico, human rights lawyer, and activist – joins the Filmmaker and the Advocate to discuss the ways Puerto Rico’s status as an unincorporated territory of the U.S. impacts the human right to housing and access to justice.
Five years before Hurricane Maria, laws were put in place to encourage investment and promote Puerto Rico as a tax haven. When disaster struck in 2017 this left a major opening for big business to flood into Puerto Rico to buy up large pieces of land and vacant buildings left behind by those who couldn’t afford to fix them in the wake of the disaster.
Now, 98% of Puerto Rico has been deemed an “opportunity zone,” ripe for investors to grow their money, even as the island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in early 2020. While many have been left with no choice but to move to the continental U.S. to try to salvage their livelihoods, the people are pushing back. The human rights narrative is empowering people to fight back, with a full understanding that they are rights holders, and their island is not for sale.
For more information on Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico, Ariadna herself, and her awesome manifesto, visit www.ayudalegalpuertorico.org.
Produced by WG Film
Recorded & Edited by Mikey Jones
Music by Florencia Di Concilio
Social Media & Support Team - Maja Moberg, Valerie Estrina, Hanna Leander