Puerto Rico charts new course with new governor
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A new governor took office Wednesday in Puerto Rico, marking an ideological shift in a U.S. territory struggling to revive its economy and reduce violent crime.
Alejandro Garcia Padilla was sworn in on a stage overlooking the Atlantic Ocean outside the Capitol building in San Juan amid the cheers of thousands of supporters from his party, which opposes statehood. Garcia is a 41-year-old attorney and former local senator who narrowly defeated pro-statehood Gov. Luis Fortuno in November, thanks in part to support from labor unions angered when Fortuno laid off more than 20,000 government workers to help close a budget deficit.
Garcia said one of his priorities is to create jobs on an island where unemployment hovers above 13 percent, higher than in any U.S. state.
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