Monday, November 5, 2007

Barceloneta Massacre, Animal Control Solutions & Julio Díaz Cintrón

At left, Julio Díaz Cintrón, president of Animal Control Solutions (ACS), who offered several hard to believe hypotheticals as to why animals found dead under a bridge were not those that he and his employees had picked up from Barceloneta public housing projects. (Photo Primera Hora / Andre Kang).

Among the hypotheticals lamely advanced by Mr. Díaz Cintrón, are the possibility that the animals found under the bridge were thrown there as a result of having died in dog fights, because he alleges that near to that site there are persons who engage in dog fighting. No evidence of this other than his say so. Another hypothesis advanced by him is that the animals were somehow killed in nearby municipalities by neighbors, since there are some municipalities that have no animal control programs, and it would not be surprising for neighbors to take this into their own hands. Again, no evidence of this.

Now, let us analyze these lame hypotheticals, in light of the known facts, and Mr. Díaz Cintron's actions. Some of the known facts:
  1. Some 50 pets were removed (in the first round) from their owners (residents of 3 public housing projects in Barceloneta, PR) by order of the municipality, under threat of having the residents otherwise evicted from their homes.
  2. Some 50 pets were found --mostly dead-- under a bridge shortly afterwards, having been thrown there from a height of some 50 feet.
  3. At least one pet -- Yoli -- survived and was identified by her owner. See photo of Yoli with Leisha Swayne here.
  4. When all of these animals were discovered --mostly dead-- Mr. Díaz-Cintrón paid for mechanical equipment (an excavator) to bury the animals, but he says he did this out of goodwill rather than any sense of guilt. He did this rather quickly. But he could not bury Yoli!!
  5. He thereafter alleged that the animals he had picked up, had been euthanized at a veterinary clinic in Caguas, PR, and then transported and were being kept in specialized refrigerators at Animal Control Solutions' facilities. This would obviously be the clearest exculpatory evidence in his control, one would reasonably think. But Mr. Díaz Cintrón said he had to take the animals to be cremated (without first giving notice to authorities, even though he knew there was an ongoing criminal investigation), because the special refrigerators were shut off at night and the animals were decomposing rapidly and creating a terrible smell at Animal Control Solutions' facilities. This was obviously a reasonable explanation, just as we all turn off our home refrigerators at night, or just as the morgues shut off their refrigerators at night!
Thus, Julio Díaz Cintrón is solely responsible for burying the approximately 50 pets under the bridge, and for disposing of what he said were those he picked up by allowing them to decompose in his "daytime only" refrigerators, and then having those cremated. Yet, when the animals were initially discovered under the bridge, Julio Díaz Cintrón commented that "he went to the bridge when he heard of the allegations, but remains unconvinced that the dead animals are the same ones his company collected." See this Associated Press story here. Why would he have any doubts if he knew they were in his "daytime only" refrigerators? And, of course, Julio has no explanation for Yoli.

Julio Díaz Cintrón needs to get a new life, one that does not involve storytelling.

5 comments:

NadiaNYC said...

Hi, thanks for the update! I created the petition against this horrid massacre:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/puerto-rico-pet-massacre

If you haven't yet, please sign and circulate. I have updated it and will keep it open until ALL responsible are brought to justice.

With knowledge of PR law, perhaps you can tell me why Diaz is still walking free? From what I've read, the police Sgt. said he can "assure" us that all evidence points to Diaz. If they were here on US mainland, this brute would've been arrested for breaking and entering, animal cruelty (on each count) if not, his tampering and destroying his so-called "evidence," or the lesser charge of operating without a license. Why is he still walking around?

And, if the mayor said he'd resign if his office was found responsible for this mess, and HUD confirmed he was wrong, that pets are allowed in the projects.... why in heavens is he still in office? Why hasn't anyone called for his head?

Here's a note from Brian Sullivan from HUD:

"HUD has no such policy banning pets in public housing (as has been suggested). In fact, all but "exotic pets" are permitted in Barceloneta's public housing units.

The following is a copy of our rule that essentially allows local housing officials...AND THEIR RESIDENTS... to develop their own reasonable pet policy. Also, a document that answers many of the questions we received in the development of that rule back in 2000. Thank you for your like-minded message.

A Q&A about HUD's "pets in public housing" rule:

http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/phr/about/ao_faq5.cfm

HUD Rule itself:
http://www.hudclips.org/sub_nonhud/cgi/pdf/17023.pdf

I'm afraid no one is going to be held accountable for this atrocity and all those poor animals' deaths would be in vain!

Tom Lincoln said...

nadianyc:

Let us hope that the Commonwealth Justice Department does come around and take action. I agree with the need to keep up the pressure. The problem, as I see it, is the fact that the Mayor of Barceloneta and the Governor are from the sdame political party.

The Insider said...

Which veterinary clinic in Caguas was supposed used for the euthanization? Did they back up his story?

Also - I've read reports the animals were "drugged and beaten" before being discarded? Is there any validity of this?

If they were drugged, what drug was used? If he used a supply of drugs on 50-80 animals, his re-ordering/purchasing of that drug around the time might also provide suggestive evidence.

He cannot be re-tried for the first round of charges, but he could be charged with perjury if it was proven that he gave false testimony.

Tom Lincoln said...

According to Julio Díaz, it was the Mariolga Veterinary Clinic in Caguas.

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