As Hurricane Maria Relief Continues, Puerto Rico Murder Rate Surges

So far in 2018, there have been 32 murders in Puerto Rico.

MORE: Puerto Rican Nationalist Oscar Rivera López wants U.S.’s Hurricane Maria Relief Workers Out of the Island

The amount of murders so far is double what it was during the same 11 days last year.

According to CBS News, Puerto Rican legislator, Denis Marquez said Puerto Rico's homicide rate is normally much higher than the United States (20 per 100,000 compared to 3.7 per 100,000) but with the recent murders, that number has started to rise.

To make matters worse, Police Chief Michelle Hernandez resigned on Monday, despite only being in the role for a year.

Many residents fear the killings are related to gangs and drugs, and that the number of murders will only continue to rise.

Overtime payments owed to police officers has caused them to call in sick as a sign of protest Lack of police force leaves towns without power vulnerable to crime.

PLUS: How this Puerto Rican Chef Helped Employees After Hurricane Maria

According to Time, Hector Pesquera, secretary of the newly created Department of Public Safety said, “We’re in a process of analysis and of committed work to fight criminality in Puerto Rico.”