Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro is asking the government of his home island to suspend plans for a monkey-breeding facility in the southern town of Guayama (just minutes from my home town, I should add). He has made his plea on the grounds that the animals would suffer “extreme animal abuse.” In a letter to Gov. Luis Fortuno, del Toro wrote that the facility, to be built by Bioculture, a Mauritius-based company, would be cruel. It would supply monkeys to pharmaceutical companies for research. Fortuno’s office and Bioculture did not immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday. Bioculture community coordinator Jacinto Rivera Solivan previously said the Guayama facility would be run humanely.
Del Toro won a supporting actor Oscar for his role in “Traffic” and starred in last year’s “Che,” a biopic of Latin American revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.