Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Police Brutality in PR: RIP Miguel Cáceres

I've been a bit disconnected from the news. I've been in Miami and concentrating on family time.

Then I got a myspace bulletin with MC Welmo's song "No!!!" (Click here to listen.) It's an angry commentary on the racist and classist nature of police brutality in Puerto Rico. It mentioned incidents I had heard of in the last few months: Villa Cañona in Loíza and San José in Rio Piedras. But Welmo, in this song, was ranting about a recent murder: a man with the last name Cáceres who had been shot while unnarmed and face-down on the floor.

"No!!!" by Welmo:

Se soltaron las bestias en uniforme
Corre por tu vida pa que el cuerpo no te deformen
Bajan las macanas sobre pieles negras
Marrón la sangre que inunda la tierra
Vienen con los ojos demoniacos, armadura y chalecos
Y su cura romper bocas y huesos
Dígame Toledo quién fue el que dió la orden
Dime porqué empujan cuando estoy al borde del precipicio
A Cáceres lo ejecutaron en el piso y por la espalda

[The beasts in uniform are on the loose
Run for your life so they won't maim your body
Billy clubs come down on black skin
Brown is the blood that floods the earth
They come with demon eyes, armor and vests
And their aim is to break mouths and bones
Tell me, Toledo, who gave the order
Tell me why they push when I'm standing
On the border of the precipice
Cáceres was executed on the floor and from the back]

I didn't even get to hear verse 2 and I was googling "Cáceres" and "police brutality." Below is the enraging homevideo that aired on TV of Miguel Cáceres' murder last Saturday in Humacao, Puerto Rico.

More on Cáceres' murder in El Nuevo Día and BBC News.

Today, Wednesday August 15th, there will be a protest at 5p.m. in front of the Police General Headquarters in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

R.I.P. Miguel Cáceres. And much strength to his community and his family.

Props to Welmo on a quick artistic response that serves to educate and collectively vent the intense anger and pain this murder has generated.


Rahsaan Lucas said...


Came across your blog from googling Police Brutality and Calle 13. I don't know if you heard this yet, but today, a new protest song was to be released from Calle 13 addressing the unfortunate murder of Sr. Miguel Caceres (RIP), similar to their musical protest song over the assassination of Filiberto Ojeda Rios.

I'm very interested in what Residente has to say on this matter, and I'm sure it will be sharp and to the point. Also after reading your past blogs, I'm very interested in reading what you'll write in regards to the song. That is, if it inspires you to do so..

Keep up the good work.

Rahsaan Lucas
Afrotaino Productions

raquelzrivera said...

Hi Rahsaan. My sister called me today telling me she had just seen it on the news. She said it was an event/protest of sorts, where Calle 13 had the whole entourage out by the light in front of the Police Headquarters on Avenida Roosevelt. They were giving out the CDs. Without knowing any more details, my gut just tells me that's the kind of high-profile public interventions that more artists should do. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing the song. If you see it posted anywhere and remember, write back with the link. Thanks so much for your comment. paz, RZ