NLPA Member Testifies at UN on Effects of Colonization in Puerto Rico

NLPA member Dr. Cristalis Capielo Rosario recently gave testimony to the United Nations about the mental health impacts of colonization in Puerto Rico. Dr. Capielo Rosario’s argument for the psychological ramifications of Puerto Rican colonization included discussion of internalized narratives, perceived inferiority, and threats of depression and anxiety.

Dr. Capielo Rosario’s research indicated that self-determination could change the mental health aspect for Puerto Ricans by empowering the community and improving the population’s overall self-esteem. “I recently conducted a study in which I asked participants to imagine what would happy if the association between the U.S. and Puerto Rico ceased. The primary response was chaos. ‘We won’t be able to survive.’ ‘We’re going to die of hunger,’” Dr. Capielo Rosario explained in an Arizona State University interview, “But when asked in that same study how they would describe themselves and other Puerto Ricans, they said ‘we’re hardworking, we’re creative and we have a lot of assets.’ But it does not translate into the idea of self-determination. That’s a psychological phenomenon. We certainly have the economic and social resources to make it happen.”

Following the testimony of Dr. Capielo Rosario and others, the United Nations C-24 Special Committee on Decolonization voted in favor of Resolution 1514, which asserts Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination and independence.

Learn more about Dr. Capielo Rosario’s research and testimony HERE

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