Tragic Weekend in Puerto Rico: Four Women Lost to Violence

Puerto Rico - women - murders

By Mivette Vega

September 6, 2023

A wave of violence impacted Puerto Rico over Labor Day weekend, affecting mainly women.

Of the seven homicides, four of the victims were women, raising the number of femicides to 15 so far this year. Last year there were a total of 15 women murdered over the entire year. In 2021 there were 12 women murdered.

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The first homicide occurred on Friday at 8:00 a.m. in Caguas, where a 67-year-old man killed a 31-year-old woman in her place of work. He later went home and took his own life.

Friday night, a woman was murdered by her husband in Añasco, after an argument between the two.

On Sunday morning, a woman was stabbed at the intersection of De Diego and Piñero Avenues, in Puerto Nuevo. She was transferred to Centro Médico, where she later died. The motive for the crime is still unknown.

The fourth woman was murdered in Carolina, in broad daylight, on Sunday. Drug trafficking appears to be the cause, according to the preliminary investigation.

In January 2021, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi signed an executive order to create a state of emergency on the Island due to the high number of women murdered.

Lisdel Flores Barger, executive director of Hogar Ruth, which supports battered women, urged the government to come up with a more active plan.

“We must stop the wave of murders against women that is hitting us like a pandemic of femicide. We have to unite the government, the private sector, and the organizations that work for women to maximize the resources as a country against this terrible problem,” Flores told Noticel.

On Sept. 5, Pierluisi signed an executive order to create the Comprehensive Plan for Social Reconstruction and Violence Prevention.

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The governor said the order will create an advisory committee to help lead the development of the Comprehensive Plan. There will also be a Multisectoral Congress for Social Reconstruction and Violence Prevention that will bring together all sectors of society to be part of this effort.

“In recent days we have witnessed unacceptable incidents of violence, which do not reflect the moral fiber of our Puerto Rican people. Despite the fact that murders and type 1 crime have been reduced for the second year in a row, it is essential that our society rise up against violence of all kinds and that we unite to prevent and combat it because we do not want to lose another life as a result of violence,” Pierluisi said in a statement adding. “There are many efforts made by the government for these purposes, both from the perspective of law and order and the promotion of respect and fair treatment among all.”


  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.



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