A group of Puerto Rican music stars Monday denounced
the crime wave sweeping the Caribbean island, where this weekend a hail of bullets took the lives of two new victims at a crowded concert.
Merengue singer Elvis Crespo told a press conference of his "pain and sorrow" for the death of two people Sunday during the show organised by a radio station at the Ruben Rodriguez Colisseum in the San Juan suburb of Bayamon.
The shooting, whose perpetrator and motives are under investigation, left five people wounded.
Crespo said that Saturday night looked like becoming "a joyous occasion with a feeling of relief" for Puerto Rico, where nearly 200 people have been slain so far this year.
"It's a situation we have to worry about. This wasn't the Puerto Rico where we grew up, that we defend with pride and passion. It was a night I'll never forget," the singer said.
Crespo said that an event is being organised to express repulsion for last weekend's incident, a show to be dubbed "No More Violence, Together for the People", which will bring together Puerto Rican and international artists. No date for the event has yet been set.
"It's in our power to be part of the solution. This is a moment of unity. We Puerto Ricans, when we have difficult moments and times of crisis, we rise to the occasion," Crespo said.
Other artists taking part in the press conference were the Oscar and Banchy Serrano brothers of the merengue orchestra Grupo Mania, reggaeton artists Dyland and Lenny, Mexico's Ivan "La Voz" (The Voice), Juan Velez, Tony Tun Tun, Toby Love and the groups Zone D' Tambora and N'Klabe.
The year 2010 ended as one of the most violent in Puerto Rican history, which had its worst year ever in 1994 when crime took 995 lives.