Rafael has been a freelance journalist and geography professor at the University of Puerto Rico, where he specializes in the intersection of local sports, media and society. He has worked as a news and sports reporter for The Puerto Rico Daily Sun, NotiCel.com, 80 Grados and Diálogo UPR. In 2018, he joined the team of Todas PR, a feminist newspaper founded by Puerto Rican female journalists. He received his B.A. from University of Puerto Rico and two masters degrees in geography, mass media and women’s studies at Penn State, where he was president of the Puerto Rican Graduate Student Association. He is currently ABD in History and Caribbean Studies at the Center of Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. He is the editor of a multidisciplinary academic journal at the University of Puerto Rico.
Beat: Watchdog reporting on recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Rafael investigates government and public financial matters including the Fiscal Control Board and the bankruptcy processes; federal recovery money from Hurricane Maria and how its being spent; and the performance of federal agencies working in Puerto Rico, including the EPA, HUD, DOE, FEMA, DHHS and CDC, among others. Puerto Rico, bankrupted with over $73 billion in debt, has been struggling to move forward amid austerity measures. How are these decisions being made? What is the new hierarchy, and who are the players? What are their interests, connections, views and backgrounds? Additionally, billions of dollars in federal recovery money has been assigned to Hurricane Maria recovery efforts, but only 10 percent is going to local companies — the rest is going to US businesses. Why is this happening? Who is making those decisions, and how will this affect the economy?