NPR

Puerto Rico Embarks On Historically Huge Debt Protection Hearings

Between its public-sector debt and what it owes pension funds, the U.S. territory's bills exceed $120 billion. That makes for some difficult decisions in court, which opened hearings Wednesday.
A mural displays notable historical figures and a fading Puerto Rican flag on a dilapidated building in San Juan earlier this month. Between its public-sector debt and money owed pension funds, the U.S. territory is grappling with more than $120 billion in debt. / MARK RALSTON / Getty Images

For years, Puerto Rico has grappled with an ever-mounting debt crisis, watching as its public-sector bills have grown to more than $70 billion. Including what the U.S. territory owes to pension funds, that debt exceeds $120 billion.

Now, Puerto Rico's struggle with its creditors has stepped into U.S. federal court, where an unprecedented debt-restructuring case opened with a hearing Wednesday.

Puerto Rico filed to restructure its debt

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min read
Brad Pitt On Making 'Ad Astra,' Processing Trauma And Channeling David Bowie
The actor stars in a new science-fiction blockbuster about more than just an astronaut on a space mission: "We wanted to do something very sincere and raw and painfully honest," he says.
NPR5 min read
He's Trying To Fill In The Gaps On Google Street View — Starting With Zimbabwe
Not every corner of the world is yet on Google Street View. Tawanda Kanhema sees these gaps as a kind of digital divide, so he volunteers to photograph and upload some of the places left off the map.
NPR2 min readPolitics
British Oil Tanker Seized By Iran Will Be Released Soon, Iranian Official Says
The Stena Impero was detained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 for alleged marine violations. Iranian maritime officials have given no set date for its release.