SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Thousands of Puerto Ricans are marching to protest pension cuts, school closures and slow hurricane recovery efforts as anger grows across the U.S. territory over looming austerity measures.
Tuesday's protest attracted teachers, retirees and unionized workers from both the private and public sector. Mayor of the capital Carmen Yulin Cruz was among those marching.
Concerns that the May 1 protest could grow violent forced the island's biggest mall to close for the day, along with several banks, government agencies and schools.
Puerto Rico is mired in an 11-year recession and trying to restructure some of its $72 billion public debt load as it struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria. Some 30,000 power customers remain in the dark after the Category 4 storm struck on Sept. 20.