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A peace message from Puerto Rico

December 17, 2012 1 comment

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Social media is a known to be a powerful marketing tool and therefore in Puerto Rico its users are using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote the message of peace.

This small island in the Caribbean has been facing a huge wave crime in the past few years with over 1,000 people being murdered in 2011 alone. Recently a publicist called José Enrique Gómez was carjacked by 4 suspects with no guns, taken to an ATM machine to withdraw $400 and then set on fire. This violent murder has been the final straw for the citizens of this island who are tired of living with nothing but crimes reported on the news.

People have taken to social media to pour the messages of peace and to promote the end of the violence in the country. Several Facebook groups popped up overnight reaching over 50,000 supporters in 24 hours. They all have been promoting the message of “Todos somos Jorge Steven” (“We are all Jorge Steven”) and “Los Buenos Somos Mas” (“The Good Guys are More”). The hashtags associated with this peace message: #todossomosjorgeenrique, #unabrazoparapuertorico, #losbuenossomosmas and #bastaya are still being used weeks after the movement started. This is a good sign because in the social media world movements rise and fall with a lifespan of a few days at most. This message of peace has also been kept strong by increasing support from local celebrities like Ricky Martin and by the news spreading globally and supporters joining from other countries.

This social media movement has also moved the message from the social media outlets to major news outlets not only in Puerto Rico but around the world. It has also inspired the citizens to voice their message from the virtual world to the real world by organizing vigils for victims, peaceful marches and conversations in daily life.

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The impact of this virtual conversation has taken one step further. The mother of one of the suspects saw her son’s picture on Facebook in a movement to find the perpetrators and made him turn himself in to the police.

This movement has been causing some powerful impacts to the social health of a wounded country. There is hope in how the conversations are being kept alive and that people are not forgetting to keep interest in spreading the message. Hopefully 2013 will be the first time in over a decade where Puerto Ricans will see a year in decreasing murder rates and less violence in their daily lives.