SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A court in Puerto Rico has ordered the government to release all death certificates issued after Hurricane Maria and other information it compiled after the Category 4 storm hit the island.
The court decision released Tuesday says the information should be made public within a week and that the government doesn't have any pressing interest to deny access to it. Gov. Ricardo Rossello and other government officials have withheld certain information, saying they need to protect people's privacy.
It is unclear whether the government will appeal. A spokeswoman for the island's Justice Department did not immediately return a message for comment.
The ruling responds to a lawsuit filed by CNN and Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism.
Critics maintain that the official death toll of 64 is severely undercounted.