Casimiro Berenguer

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Casimiro Berenguer
Born 4 March 1909
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Died 27 February 2000
Dominican Republic
Nationality Puerto Rican
Political party Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
Movement Puerto Rican Independence
Spouse(s) Carmen Carreno Martinez[1]
Children Ramon, Neomi, Raquel, Olga, Neida and Raphael[2]
External audio
You may watch newsreel scenes of the Ponce Massacre on YouTube

Casimiro Berenguer Padilla[note 1] was a Puerto Rican nationalist who witnessed the Ponce Massacre. He was the military instructor of the Cadets of the Republic who received permission from Ponce Mayor Tormos Diego to celebrate a parade on March 21, 1937, in commemoration of the abolition of slavery and to protest the jailing of its leaders, including Pedro Albizu Campos.[4][5] The parade resulted in the police riot known as the Ponce Massacre.

Early years

Casimiro Berenguer Padilla was born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. His parents were Alejandro Berenguer, a mason, and Eugenia Padilla, a housewife. At age 6, he emigrated to the Dominican Republic with his parents, where he spent his childhood and part of his youth. He also learned to trade as a cobbler there. In 1929, he returned to Puerto Rico and established a shoe repair shop in Ponce.[6]


Berenguer Padilla was an instructor of the "Cadetes de la República" (Cadets of the Republic) in Ponce.[7] He set up his shoe repair shop at Marina and Aurora streets, at a building used by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party to celebrate its meetings in that city. The Insular Police carried out the 1937 Ponce Massacre, under the instructions of US-installed governor Blanton Winship, outside this building.[8]

In 1938, Berenguer and other Nationalists were accused of the murder of Col. Luis Irizarry of the Puerto Rican National Guard, in their attempt on the life of U.S.-installed governor Blanton Winship in retaliation for the Blanton-ordered Ponce Massacre. The other nationalists also accused of murder by the government of Blanton Winship in relation to the massacre were Luis Castro Quesada, Julio Pinto Gandía, Lorenzo Piñeiro, (Interim President and Interim Secretary General of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party), Plinio Graciani, Tomás López de Victoria, Martín González Ruíz, Elifaz Escobar, Luis Angel Correa, Santiago González, and Orlando Colón Leyro. Of this group, only Tomás López de Victoria, Santiago González, Elifaz Escobar and Berenguer Padilla were members of the cadets.[7] A grand jury was convened, and the accused were tried, but all the Nationalists, including Berenguer, were released.[9]

On September 28, 1938, Berenguer was convicted with other Nacionalistas in connection with the attempted assassination of Governor Winship during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the U.S. military invasion of Puerto Rico. The other Nationalists convicted were Tomás López de Victoria, Elifaz Escobar, Santiago González, Vicente Morciglio, Leocadio López, Juan Pietri, Guillermo Larrogaiti, and Prudencio Segarra.[10]

Death and legacy

Berenguer's remains were brought from the Dominican Republic and interred at the Panteon Nacional Roman Baldorioty de Castro in Ponce on the 70th anniversary of the Ponce Massacre, March 21, 2007.[11][12]


  1. This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Berenguer and the second or maternal family name is Padilla.

See also


  1. My family from Cabo Rojo. Melissa Peters. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  2. Casimiro Berenguer Padilla. "Puerto Rico, Ancestors and Researchers: "B"." Melissa Peters. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  3. Las Luchas y el projecto politico del nacionalismo albizuista. In, La Nación puertorriqueña: ensayos en torno a Pedro Albizu Campos. Juan Manuel Carrión, Teresa C. Gracia Ruiz, and Carlos Rodriguez Fraticelli, Editors. University of Puerto Rico Press. 1993. Page 145.
  4. Casimiro Berenguer. Martin Nieves. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  5. The Ponce Massacre (1937)
  6. Luis Angel Ferrao. Entrevista a Casimiro Berenguer, sobreviviente de la Masacre de Ponce in Museo de la Masacre de Ponce. Foro: La Masacre de Ponce.(Ponce Massacre Museum. Published: ca. 1987.) page 7. Accessed March 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "FBI Files"; "Puerto Rico Nationalist Party"; SJ 100-3; Vol. 23; pages 104-134.
  8. Visita a Ponce.
  9. Encyclopedia Puerto Rico.
  10. FBI Files on Puerto Ricans.
  11. Juan Alindato y Chegüi Torres al Panteon Nacional Roman Baldorioty de Castro, nuestro cementerio museo. Periodico "La Voz de la Playa de Ponce", Edicion 131, October 2010. Page 2.
  12. Panteon Nacional Roman Baldorioty de Castro. Official Website of the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce.

External links