How did Carlos Romero Barcelo die? Puerto Rico ex-guv dubbed 'murderous terrorist' over Cerro Maravilla massacre

Carlos Romero Barcelo, however, had denied any wrongdoing regarding the alleged cover-up during the initial probes

                            How did Carlos Romero Barcelo die? Puerto Rico ex-guv dubbed 'murderous terrorist' over Cerro Maravilla massacre
Carlos Romero Barcelo died at the age of 88 (Pierluisi House Gov site)

Carlos Romero Barcelo, who served as Governor of Puerto Rico, died at the age of 88 at 9:30 pm on Sunday, May 2, revealed his daughter Melinda K Romero Donnelly. He was the second governor to be elected from the New Progressive Party (PNP) and the 16th Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi took to Twitter to offer condolences, writing, "As President of @pnp_pr, which he helped found, I express my deepest condolences to the family of Don Carlos Romero Barceló, who in life was our mayor of San Juan, Governor, Senator, and Resident Commissioner. Puerto Rico loses a tireless fighter for equality and leaves us a legacy that all statesmen will carry in his name. Don Carlos rest in peace .”



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How did Carlos Romero Barcelo die?

According to reports, the 88-year-old politician was hospitalized on March 14 after suffering from urinary and blood infections, Romero Donnelly stated. Moreover, his blood pressure and sugar levels were very low when taken to the hospital, the statement revealed. Earlier in October 2020, the former governor was hospitalized for bilateral pneumonia as a result of heart failure. At that time, he was in the hospital for as long as 26 days. 


Romero Barcelo's political career

Carlos Romero Barcelo has been a crucial figure in leading the New Progressive Party. He was known to be an avid supporter of Puerto Rico statehood with the United States of America. One of the founding members of the New Progressive Party in 1967, Barcelo became the first Hispanic to become vice-president of the National League of Cities and in 1974 became president of the organization. Barcelo served as an elected Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and later became the governor. 

In his second term as a governor, Barcelo was criticized as Puerto Rico was badly affected by a severe recession in 1980 with unemployment rising to 25% in 1983, the highest since the Great Depression. 

Cerro Maravilla murders

After the former governor's death, Cerro Maravilla murders, one of the horrific incidents where Romero Barcelo was reportedly involved, started trending on social media. In 1978, two young pro-Independence activists at Cerro Maravilla were brutally killed at the hands of members of the Puerto Rican Police after being trapped in a remote area that housed communications and television towers. Romero Barcelo reportedly praised the police's actions. The tragic and shocking incident was investigated quite a number of times by the Puerto Rico Justice Department, the US Justice Department and the FBI, and was vastly reported by the local press. In 1984, 10 police officers were charged and found guilty of "perjury, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice, with four being convicted of second-degree murder."

Following Barcelo's death, social media users started discussing the tragic incident. A user shared, "The college town of Río Piedras celebrates with news of the death of former #PuertoRico governor Carlos Romero Barceló #HistoriandoLaUPR FYI: Romero condoned police intervention in a student assembly on November 25, 1981. Cops shot firearms and chased kids through the streets." Another user alleged, "Romero Barceló, who called the police officers who executed two independence activists on Cerro Maravilla “heroes”, will be remember as the governor under which 10 officers were convicted of perjury and four of second-degree murder on the Cerro Maravilla case." A user claimed, "He was also a MURDERER and a thief."




A user posted, "I was a kid and remember vividly that we were watching tv, watching that activity and I remember asking my dad why Romero was calling them heroes….I remember vividly the look on my dad’s face as he told me, “someday I will explain it”. Another user said, "He was a murderous right wing terrorist as evidenced by the cerro Maravilla state sponsored murders that happened under his watch A distinguished persecutor of independence movement and left wing activists. I wish I believed in the afterlife." A user shared photos of the young men who were killed in the Cerro Maravilla incident sharing, "boys, you can finally test in peace…."




Barcelo denied wrongdoing 

In 2003, about 25 years after the Cerro Maravilla murders, Barcelo reportedly admitted in a radio interview that it was “an error of judgment and a premature declaration” to laud the police officers since at that time he believed they were telling the truth about their self-defense. However, he has denied any wrongdoing regarding the alleged cover-up during the initial probes.

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