HomeNewsBriefPuerto Rico Police Chief Steps Down Amid Record Violence
BRIEF

Puerto Rico Police Chief Steps Down Amid Record Violence

CARIBBEAN / 29 MAR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Puerto Rico's police chief has resigned after less than a year on the job, leaving office in the middle of a record murder wave and reports of widespread corruption within the police force.

Superintendent Emilio Diaz Colon presided over the Puerto Rican Police department (PRPD) during the most violent year in the U.S. territory's history, which saw 1136 homicides in 2011.

While sudden, Diaz's resignation was not entirely unforeseen. He had been widely criticized ever since his appointment in July 2011, when he stated that he had no plans to change the way the PRPD operated or to develop any kind of anti-crime strategy. His resignation followed a survey by newspaper El Nuevo Dia which showed only 25% of Puerto Ricans supported the retired two-star National Guard general.

InSight Crime Analysis

Diaz is Puerto Rico's second police superintendent in a row to resign due to accusations of incompetence. His predecessor, Jose Figueroa Sancha, also tendered his (likely forced) resignation in response to a surge in homicides.

Reform of the PRPD, which has been criticized by the Department of Justice for allegations of systemic corruption, has moved slowly. In September, Kenneth McClintock, the territory's lieutenant governor, told NPR that some analysts suggest it could take as long as 15 years to fully restore the confidence of US federal officials in Puerto Rico's police. While McClintock said he would prefer the process move faster, that grim assessment of the territory's police means Diaz's successor is sure to inherit a difficult job.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COVID AND CRIME / 6 MAY 2020

Mexico's tourism hotspots were already seeing visitor numbers drop due to the impact of violent crime, and with the coronavirus…

CARIBBEAN / 2 JUL 2020

Shocking images of dead birds floating in the Caribbean have exposed a thriving illegal wildlife trade between Venezuela and Trinidad…

BARRIO 18 / 24 JAN 2019

The homicide rate in El Salvador has spiked after authorities in the Central American nation saw a substantial reduction in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.