Puerto Rico


Emerging States & Claims to Autonomy and Independence



Picture Credit: World Atlas



Special Committee on Decolonization Adopts Text Calling on United States to Expedite Self-Determination Process for Puerto Rican People (June 9, 2008)

The Special Committee on Decolonization called on the US to allow a Puerto Rican vote for independence. Puerto Rico has been a US colony for 110 years and its dependence on the US is leading to rising prices in the country. The Committee highlighted Puerto Rico's distinct identity as a Latin American and Caribbean country, its opposition to the death penalty, and Puerto Rican political prisoners detained in US jails. (Independencia)

Puerto Rico at the United Nations (June 13, 2006)

The UN General Assembly's Decolonization Committee unanimously called for the people of Puerto Rico to decide their relationship with the United States. Currently a "Commonwealth" of the US, there exists in Puerto Rico a strong pro-statehood campaign and a small minority in favor of independence. In this Counterpunch article, a pro-independence activist outlines the presentations made to the Committee in favor of independence and describes the political persecution of pro-independence leaders by the FBI.

Puerto Ricans Angry That US Overrode Death Penalty Ban (July 17, 2003)

The US Justice Department is seeking the death penalty for two Puerto Rican men despite a local law prohibiting capital punishment. Puerto Ricans have protested the decision, which they consider an affront to their legal autonomy. (New York Times)

Acting Without Vote, Special Decolonization Committee Approves Text On Puerto Rico (July 12, 2000)

The Committee approved a recommendation that the US remove their troops from Vieques. This draft resolution was the first time in 28 years that members of the Committee had achieved consensus. The futures of New Caledonia and Tokelau are also mentioned. (UN Press Release)