Carlos Romero Barceló

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Carlos Antonio Romero Barceló "El Caballo" (born September 4, 1932) is a Puerto Rican politician who served as the fifth Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the second governor to be elected from the New Progressive Party (PNP) and also Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico from 1993 to 2001, making him one of the more successful politicians in the island's history.

Romero Barceló is the grandson of Antonio R. Barceló, a former Union Party leader and advocate of Puerto Rican independence during the early 20th century.



Carlos Romero Barceló attended Phillips Exeter Academy in the state of New Hampshire, graduating in 1949. Later he attended Yale University, obtaining a B.A. in Political Science and Economics in 1953. That same year, at age 20, he returned to Puerto Rico and enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico Law School, becoming a licensed lawyer in 1956. In 1977, he received a doctorate Honoris causa from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.

Political career

Romero Barceló, an avid supporter of Puerto Rico statehood with the United States of America, became involved in with the "Partido Estadista Republicano", the forerunner of the New Progressive Party, which at the time was led by Miguel Angel Garcia Mendez. He formed part of "Ciudadanos pro Estado 51" (Citizens for the 51st State) in 1965. Later, he became involved with the political group "Estadistas Unidos", founded by Luis Ferre.

Barceló was one of the founding members of the New Progressive Party in 1967. The following year he was elected Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1973, he became the first Hispanic to become vice-president of the National League of Cities and in 1974 became president. He served as mayor until 1976 when he defeated incumbent Governor Rafael Hernández Colón. Romero Barceló is frequently associated with the "Cerro Maravilla Incident" of 1978 in which two young pro-Independence activists at Cerro Maravilla were killed at the hands of rogue members of the Puerto Rican Police. The tragic incident was investigated several times by the P.R. Justice Department, the U.S. Justice Department and the F.B.I., and was widely reported on by the local press. In the end (and after some reversals), ten officers were indicted and found guilty of perjury, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice, of whom four were convicted of second-degree murder during 1984 [1]. In 1984, Barcelo was defeated in his re-election bid in 1984 by Hernandez-Colon.

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