Florida couple who barricaded themselves in Puerto Rico neighborhood after refusing to submit negative COVID test remains in detention

A plane lands at the Luis Muñoz Marín Airport, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

HECTOR RETAMAL/ / AFP / Getty Images

By Sara R. Marrero Cabán

PUERTO RICO – The couple who refused to fill out the Travelers Declaration Upon landing in Puerto Rico on January 2, he remains under arrest, the Department of Health indicated yesterday morning at Primera Hora.

The persons, identified by the Police as Zulma I. Figueroa Córdova, 53, and her husband, Luis Ángel Colón Colón, 44, were charged in absentia on a less serious charge for refusing to fill out the document at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which is a requirement according to Executive Order 2021-081.

Judge Wilfredo Viera Garcés, of the Carolina Court of First Instance, found this Tuesday cause for arrest against both for violating Article 246 of the Penal Code that makes it a crime to resist or obstruct the exercise of public authority by preventing public officials or employees from exercising the authority of the duties of their position, for which they could be penalized with a fine or up to six months in prison.

When officers went to make the arrest Tuesday night, both they barricaded themselves for two hours inside a car parked on Kennedy Street in the José Mercado urbanization in Caguas, along with some minors. Therefore, the officers appointed a negotiator to support the arrest process, led by the Department of Health. Later, the couple was transferred to the Barrio Obrero barracks, while the minors were removed from the scene by personnel from the Department of the Family.

At the moment, the director of the Office of Health Investigations, Jesús Hernández, is attending the case in the Carolina Court of First Instance.

Anyone entering Puerto Rico must complete a Travelers Declaration and present negative proof

Since December 27, all travelers- regardless of their origin- You must complete the Travelers Declaration, which requests that evidence of inoculation against COVID-19 and negative test for the virus be attached, according to Executive Order 2021-081. You can also show proof of coronavirus infection for up to three months and documentation from a health provider or a government health official certifying that you are recovered and ready to travel. Those not vaccinated must comply with a seven-day quarantine from their arrival on the Island.

However, both Figueroa Córdova and Colón Colón refused to comply with the established procedures to enter the island when they arrived from a flight from the state of Florida.

“No passenger may leave the airport facilities without having completed the process established by the Department of Health, in coordination with the Puerto Rico National Guard, in accordance with the provisions of this Executive Order, which includes completing the Declaration of Travelers, as applicable ”, reads the order.

Upon passing the inspection area, the couple informed National Guard officials and employees hired by the Department of Health that you would not provide your data through the Travelers Declaration.

While the events occurred, the defendant kept recording the process with her cell phone. After this, she left the airport with her husband and children without providing the information requested by the officials to comply with the obligation established in the Executive Order.

“The Department of Health —in coordination with the National Guard, the Ports Authority, the Department of Public Security and any other governmental entity that it deems pertinent— shall take the necessary measures to implement the provisions of this Executive Order. Among these, the specific protocol that establishes the details of the process for collecting the information of each passenger must be maintained, as applicable; the handling of the information by government authorities, as well as the due notification of the provisions contained in this Executive Order and of the rights that assist each passenger, including the strictest confidentiality in the handling of this information “, reads .

The investigation was carried out with the support of the supervisor of inspectors of the Office of Investigations of the Department of Health, Moraima Cruz Delgado.

In 2022, there have been three arrests for violating Executive Order 2021-081.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *