Disaster Capitalism: Puerto Rico Plunged into Darkness After Privatization of Electric Utility


Democracy Now!

Published on Jun 15, 2021

More than 1 million people in Puerto Rico were left in the dark this month after power transmission and distribution for the island was taken over by a private company under a 15-year contract. Much of Puerto Rico lost power after a fire at an electrical substation caused a massive blackout just days after the private U.S. and Canadian company LUMA Energy formally took over management of the island’s electric grid from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Many people are still without power or facing ongoing blackouts. “This is a classic example of disaster capitalism,” says Arturo Massol-Deyá, executive director of Casa Pueblo, a community-based natural resources conservation and sustainable development group.

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