Hundreds of Puerto Ricans march for statehood


Published — Monday 4 March 2013

Last update 4 March 2013 2:02 am

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: Hundreds of people in Puerto Rico and the US are marching to demand that the territory become the 51st state.
Supporters gathered Saturday in the capital of San Juan to request that President Barack Obama honor the results of a November referendum regarding the island’s political status. Other groups gathered in Orlando, Florida, and Washington D.C.
The demonstration came on the 96th anniversary of a law that granted US citizenship to Puerto Ricans.
In the referendum’s first question, 54 percent of voters said they were not content with commonwealth status.
The second question asked what status was preferred. Of the about 1.3 million voters who made a choice, nearly 800,000 supported statehood, some 437,000 favored sovereign free association and 72,560 chose independence. But nearly 500,000 left the question blank.
Meanwhile, a man has been killed and two other people injured in a shooting at a restaurant in a popular tourist spot in Puerto Rico.
Police spokeswoman Karen Lee Torres says the slain man had an argument with unknown people before he was shot to death around 7 a.m. on Saturday in the Isla Verde neighborhood of the capital of San Juan.
Those injured were taken to the hospital but their condition was not immediately available.
No one has been arrested.
Isla Verde is located near the island’s main international airport and is known for its upscale hotels and multiple bars and restaurants.

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