SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced that Puerto Rico’s government will not make nearly $370 million in bond payments due Monday after a failure to restructure or find a political solution to the U.S. territory’s spiraling public debt crisis.
Garcia said Sunday that he had issued an executive order suspending payments on debt owed by the island’s Government Development Bank, a default that will likely prompt lawsuits from creditors and could be a prelude to a deadline to a much larger payment due July 1.
The governor said Puerto Rico can’t pay the bonds without cutting essential services.
Island officials spent the weekend trying to negotiate a settlement that would have avoided the default but apparently came up short. The development comes as Congress has so far been unable to pass a debt restructuring bill for Puerto Rico.