Gov. Wanda Vázquez—who warned last Monday that she does not want to resort to martial law to get businesses and the private sector to respond to her order to temporarily shut down most commerce—imposed in an executive order to try to curb the contagion of the coronavirus from spreading across the island.

“We have to have citizen awareness,” Vázquez said in a radio interview with WKAQ. “I don’t want to resort to martial law. I don’t want to have to reach some determinations in which no businesses will be allowed to open. We have to be cautious. We must respect the order and all those people…we could see on the street, that the police will intervene with, and I don’t want arguments afterward.”

According to, “martial law is the suspension of civil authority and the imposition of military authority.”

“We’re going to be much stricter if people don’t respect…. We will take all the steps, whether by strengthening the executive order, patent cancellation, internal revenue license [cancellations] for those businesses that are violating the executive order,” Vázquez reiterated.