Que Nos Pasa, Puerto Rico?

Today’s online edition of El Nuevo Dia has a very short, very disturbing article about a man who poured gasoline and set himself on fire while while sitting in his car parked in front of his father’s house in Caguas.

Now, being physically absent from the island obviously means I am missing a lot when I read these news stories, but I have to ask:  what is happening, Puerto Rico?  We have always had a screwed up country, but up until recently we were considered one of the “happiest” places in the world.  Why are so many more people committing suicide now?

What I find troubling is not just the fact that suicides are up, but also the ways that they are happening.  It is (sadly) not really that shocking anymore to hear about someone taking their life by shooting themselves or eating a bunch of pills – but to set yourself on fire?  The only times I recall having heard about people comitting suicide in this manner, it has involved Buddhist monks doing it as acts of protest.

So I have to ask myself – what drives a person to take their life in such an agonizing way?

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2 Responses to “Que Nos Pasa, Puerto Rico?”

  1. This isn’t really new and it isn’t really simple. We have known about high rates of psychological problems on the island for years but didn’t act upon it, we have had high rates of poverty for years, etc etc etc.

    It will not be a matter of “recovering our values” as the Que Nos Pasa campaign claims. This will take years to fix and only if we stop ignoring the symptoms and take some responsibility for this.

  2. Well no I’m not claiming that it’s new. Pero cuando yo estaba en escuela superior la inmensa mayoria de la gente estaba pegandose tiros en vez de ahorcarse, saltar de un edificio, o prenderse en fuego.

    La campaña de “Que Nos Pasa” obviamente no tiene nada que ver con esto (aunque me gustaria que la gente dejara de guiar por los paseos), pero fue un buen titulo para el post. Dices que tenemos que tomar responsabilidad – por que? Y como? Viviendo en Estados Unidos, me parece que como nacion los puertorros somos mucho mas cuerdos…

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