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Getty Images / Joe Raedle

Puerto Rico Wishes It Could Declare Bankruptcy

The U.S. territory is in the midst of a financial crisis as record numbers of Puerto Ricans are moving to the U.S.

By Kate Grumke | December 1, 2015

Puerto Rico just barely made a deadline on a debt payment of $354 million to bondholders.

But this is far from the end of Puerto Rico's financial troubles.

Before the payment, many observers thought the U.S. territory would default on its payment. It defaulted on $60 million for the first time in its history in August.

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This time it made its payment, pushing off fears that bondholders would bring a lawsuit against Puerto Rico.

But the territory still owes $72 billion to lenders and bondholders.

The Puerto Rican government has already raised taxes and liquidated pensions as part of wider austerity measures.

And amid the ongoing financial crisis on the island, a record number of Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens, have left for the U.S. In 2014, the net population loss was double that of 2010 according to Pew.

The island's governor said Tuesday: "We have taken this step in the trust that Congress will act. But do not be misled. We have no resources left. Puerto Rico cannot keep this up longer."

The territory's governor also called on Congress to allow Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy as if it were a state. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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