Saturday, October 30, 2010

El Grito de.....1950

Jayuya, Puerto Rico. Located in the center of the island was officially declared a municipality in 1911(occupied as a village prior to that date). It is named after the Taino cacique, Hayuya who governed the same region.

It is know for its skilled wood carvers, wood caverns and its Indian heritage.

The Festival Indígena is one of its most widely known festivals.

While 'El Grito de Lares' is widely known, it was in 1950 that Jayuya had its own uprising. Known simply as 'El Grito de Jayuya', it was not the only uprising to occur on that 30th day of October in 1950. Other smaller uprisings occurred in Ponce, Mayagüez, Naranjito, Utuado, San Juan and Arecibo.

A brief recap of events that led to these uprisings included the approval of Public Law 600 (authorized drafting of P.R. Constitution), the forthcoming (1952) approval of the creation of the political status, Free Associated State ("Estado Libre Associado") or rather bill of goods. Harsh measures imposed against the Nationalist Party, arrest and jailings of its members, the Ponce Massacre, and the passing of Law 53 were some of the events that led to the uprisings. Law 53, known as "Ley de la Mordaza" (Gag Law), made it illegal to display the Puerto Rican flag, talk about independence, sing patriotic songs or to act out in the liberation of Puerto Rico.

Blanca Canales Torresola, a nationalist leader from Jayuya, raised the banned Puerto Rican flag and declared Puerto Rico independent. National  guard troops were dispatched to end the uprisings. In the end, Law 53 was used against the nationalists as a means of discrimination and persecution for advocating independence.

Puerto Rican Nationalist Uprising - The Puerto Rican Commonwealth Act, The Start of the Insurrection, Government Response, Legacy of the Uprising 

DemocracyNow!: Puerto Rico Marks 60th Anniversary of Jayuya Uprising
co-host Juan Gonzalez, who’s written extensively on the uprising, discusses its significance.

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