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Several trailers filled with donations for Hurricane Maria victims were found rotting at a state elections office in Puerto Rico this week.

The New York Times reported Friday that at least 10 trailers full of food, water and baby supplies were broken open and overrun with rats.

The article goes on to state the following:

The Times noted that local radio station, Radio Isla, published a video showing cases of items such as beans, Tylenol and water covered in rat and lizard droppings.

According to the Times, the Puerto Rico elections commission offices were used as a collection center for donations from private entities and nonprofit groups after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last year. Once they were collected, the donations were then distributed by the National Guard.

As the severity of the crisis diminished, the donations were then reportedly stored in trailers in the parking lot of the election bureau’s San Juan offices, where they remained despite continued problems in the region.

Officials confirmed to The Times that the items had remained in trailers for almost a year.

“I agree, it should have been handed out as soon as possible,” Maj. Paul Dahlen, a spokesman for the National Guard, told The Times, adding that some of the materials were received after the National Guard ended its mission in May.

Nicolás Gautier, interim president of the elections council, told CBS News that “whatever was left after the National Guard left was put in those containers.”

The following news report is from CBS News correspondent David Begnaud:

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  1. So part of the blame is on the National Guard but also blame needs to be laid at the feet of the officials. If donated items weren’t handed out after the National Guard left then that shows that the blame goes all over not just on the National Guard.

  2. The Governor Of Puerto Rico is in charge of the Puerto Rican National Guard (they were in charge of distribution). The government of Puerto Rico is in charge of the office of elections. The trailers were parked on the property of the office of elections for almost 1 year. It is interesting that no media coverage went to the US Virgen Islands regarding the hurricanes and the effects before, during and after.

  3. There were so many reports that supplies had been delivered but were being withheld by the government; this should have been investigated MONTHS ago. Instead, those criticizing President Trump and the American government of “not caring” were just believed to be correct. 🙁 Yes, I went there.

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