Today, seven Puerto Rican and Latina elected officials, including Melissa, released a joint statement criticizing the selection of actor Osvaldo Rios as Padrino Internacional for the Puerto Rican Day Parade, due to his history of domestic violence. If this designation is not withdrawn, these elected officials have pledged to boycott the parade.
Joint Statement by Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito, Annabel Palma, Rosie Mendez, Julissa Ferreras, Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Diana Reyna and Assembly Member Carmen Arroyo Re: Selection of Osvaldo Rios as Padrino Internacional of the
Puerto Rican Day Parade
“We are disgusted at the selection of convicted domestic abuser Osvaldo Rios as the Padrino Internacional of this year’s Puerto Rican Day parade. The Board of Directors’ decision is unacceptable and should be immediately withdrawn. Domestic violence is a destructive cycle. Lives are destroyed and futures are damaged by this horrendous crime. We simply cannot remain silent on this issue.
“The Padrino Internacional is a position that should highlight the proud achievements of and leadership within the vibrant Puerto Rican community; a serial abuser most certainly does not qualify. The selection of Osvaldo Rios as Padrino Internacional, instead of promoting all that we have to be proud of as Puerto Ricans, unnecessarily tarnishes our culture as a whole. We are fortunate to have a great many Puerto Ricans who have made great and commendable contributions to society. Surely there is a more appropriate and well-deserved individual for this position.
“If the Board of Directors does not withdraw this honor from Rios, we will boycott the parade and call on all of our fellow elected officials to do the same.”