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Title: Puerto Rican Lawmaker Wants Probe of Pokemon Craze

Source: Reuters, November 30th, 1999.

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Puerto Rican Lawmaker Wants Probe of Pokemon Craze

Tuesday, November 30, 1999 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - A Puerto Rican lawmaker called for an investigation into the Pokemon craze after hearing reports of U.S. schoolchildren brawling over the Japanese cartoon character trading cards, his aides said on Monday. 

Rep. Roberto Cruz, who represents the southern city of Ponce in the U.S. territory's house of representatives, filed a resolution calling on the government to investigate the effects of the rapid market penetration of Pokemon trading cards, video games and other toys made by Nintendo Co. Ltd. 

"The Pokemon fever in Puerto Rico is notable ... something that began as a video game and is now flooding the collectible cards market," Cruz told reporters last week after filing his resolution. 

Cruz said he was worried by reports of fights between children in the mainland United States over Pokemon cards and other accessories. Cruz says he hoped to prevent similar scenes in Puerto Rico and his resolution aims to "safeguard the well-being of our children and our families." 

Pokemon's slogan -- Gotta catch 'em all -- has become a global mantra where some children reportedly use guile, cunning and violence to complete their collections. 

Stabbings have been reported in schoolyards in New York, Atlanta and Quebec. Police are often called to adjudicate ugly disputes when trading cards are stolen from backpacks. 

The lawmaker declined further comment on Monday on his Pokemon resolution, which had not been addressed by the full house. 

"He thinks it's being taken out of context and portrayed incorrectly," said Margarita Rivera, a staff member in Cruz's office at the Capitol building in San Juan. "All his efforts are on the legislation and making sure it is analyzed and does what it is supposed to do." 
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