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Ask your Professional Organization or Scientific Society to support strong governance and the autonomy and independence of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics

Zulmarie Perez Horta's picture

Have you already signed the petition as an individual? If not, click here to sign.

The Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PRIS) continues to weaken as an institution and needs the scientific community and friends of Puerto Rico to take action. We invite you to sign this petition and to recruit your professional organization or scientific society to do the same. We have created this form so that professional organizations and scientific societies can join us in defending strong governance for PRIS.

Help us recruit your professional organization or scientific society to sign our petition and defend strong governance for the PRIS and evidence-based policy-making in Puerto Rico!

Below we include a template that you can use to write to the professional organization or scientific society of which you are a member and ask them to support this petition in favor of the Institute of Statistics. Puerto Rico and its citizens will thank you!


Dear [NAME],

I am a [DESCRIBE WHO YOU ARE e.g. a scientist/graduate student/postdoc at [INSTITUTION]], a member of [SOCIETY'S NAME], and a supporter of the Puerto Rico Science Policy Action Network (PR-SPAN), an initiative from Ciencia Puerto Rico that seeks to activate the scientific community to inform the development and implementation of policies based on scientific basis.

I would like to bring to the [SOCIETY'S NAME] attention to the continued weakening of the governance of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PRIS). PRIS is a publicly-funded but independently-run organization tasked with improving Puerto Rico’s statistical and data gathering systems and making objective statistical analyses available to the public. For over a decade, the work of PRIS has been invaluable to academics, policy-makers, journalists, and citizens interested in a broad range of aspects of Puerto Rican society.

During the past two years, PRIS has faced a series of threats that have undermined its autonomy, credibility, and reputation. From 2017 to date, the administration of the Hon. Dr. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares has illegally removed members from the Board of Directors, tried to dismantle the Institute and outsource its functions, and made appointments to the Board that have been questioned by the international scientific community. In January 2019, there were allegations about the politicization of the Board of Directors and their ability to act independently and free of partisan influences. As of February 10, 2019 the role of executive director of the Institute has been vacant, after the resignation of Dr. Mario Marazzi Santiago, who had served in this role since 2007.

These events are of deep concern to PR-SPAN and to members of the Puerto Rican scientific community and [SOCIETY'S NAME] members.

For these reasons, PR-SPAN has drafted a sign-on letter (sign-on form can be found: for scientific and professional organizations similarly interested in these principles. As a member of [SOCIETY'S NAME], I would like to respectfully ask you that [SOCIETY'S NAME] joins the growing list of organizations who have already signed this letter to defend strong governance and autonomy for PRIS, evidence-based policy-making in Puerto Rico and show support for the Puerto Rican scientific community.

Things are moving fast so we would appreciate rush consideration. Dr. Carlos M. De Leon, PR-SPAN ambassador ( and Dr. Juan Declet-Barreto, UCS Scientist (, can provide more details.

Thank you,