Puerto Rican Leadership Council of South Florida 0


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The Puerto Rican Leadership Council demands an explanation, retraction and public apology from Univision's reporter Mario Vallejo, for false statements attributing looting to the Puerto Rican community. PLEASE SHARE.

To see a brief clip of the on air report CLICK HERE

Below is our letter to Samuel Belilty, Director of Univision News in Univision Channel 23 Miami Florida.


Dear Mr Belilty,
The Puerto Rican Leadership Council of South Florida (PRLC of SoFL) a coalition of 13 organizations, hereby requests an immediate meeting with your executive leadership. This is a follow up request to the email sent on Monday June 1, 2020 by our V.P. Frances Colon, PhD.

We seek an explanation, retraction and public on-air, apology from your evening news reporter Mario Vallejo and Univision Communications for comments made on Saturday, May 30th, linking the Puerto Rican community to the looting at Bayside Marketplace. Vallejo, introduced by your anchor, Felix deBedout, as “uno de los reporteros que mas experiencia tiene en todo este tipo de momentos críticos” stated:

“han comenzado a lanzar desde los edificios… envases, mucho de ellos con excrementos…Y algo extremadamente peculiar por lo menos, aquí en la ciudad de Miami, es que mucha de las personas que participaron no eran Afro-estadounidenses, los Afro-estadounidenses eran la minoria…eran blancos, hispanos eh (pausa) … de PUERTO RICO … (pausa)
Eran personas que no sobrepasaban los 35 años de edad.
Salieron a protestar en varios sitios de Miami, en otros {sitios} fue mucho mas pacificas las protestas , sin embargo aquí en el centro de Miami lograron entrar en uno de los lugares iconicos y romper vidrieras, me refiero a Bayfront Park un lugar que ha visitado todo aquel que llega al sur de la Florida…”

As a news outlet, viewers want to know they are getting factual, accurate information that they can trust. We would like to understand where Mr. Vallejo obtained the looters identity and origin information. Was his statement derived from a police report or from personal observation? Did he survey the looters to assess they were from Puerto Rico or was there prejudice shining through his commentary?

We request a sit-down meeting within the next couple of days with C.E.O. Vincent Sadusky, Chief Marketing Officer Jessica Rodriguez, Executive VP and Chief Communications Officer Rosemary Mercedes, Daniel Coronell President of Univision News and our PRLC of SoFL leaders. In this meeting we expect to hear what steps will be taken to remediate this situation and moving forward how you will play a proactive role in rebuilding our community’s image among your audience. The damage your network has done by your reporter’s action, and subsequently your network’s inaction, to the reputation of the Puerto Rican community, has been widely felt.

While we have sharp critiques as to how the current events are being covered, we want to focus on the singling out of Puerto Ricans. We have already felt the damage done by this comment and believe the growing community of Puerto Ricans in South Florida, Puerto Rican media professionals and Puerto Rican consumers, taxpayers and voters deserve a response. Please contact Dr. Colón or Mr. Cintrón to arrange a meeting as soon as possible.

We look forward to your expedient response,

Puerto Rican Leadership Council

The Puerto Rican Leadership Council of South Florida is a 501(c)4 coalition of thirteen cultural and professional organizations that represent and advocate for the interests of the Puerto Rican diaspora living in South Florida.

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