The Ponce massacre occurred Palm Sunday, March 21, 1937, when a peaceful march in Ponce, Puerto Rico, turned into a bloody police slaughter, killing 19 Puerto Ricans and wounding over 200 others.
The march had been organized by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party to commemorate the ending of slavery in Puerto Rico and to protest the imprisonment, by the U.S. government, of Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos on alleged sedition charges. The bloodshed began when the Insular Police fired on the marchers. The Insular Police, a force somewhat resembling the National Guard, was under the direct military command of the U.S.-appointed governor of Puerto Rico, General Blanton Winship.
The Ponce Massacre is considered a defining event in Puerto Rico’s history. Learn more from this archived Democracy Now! interview.
Photo: Relatives of Nationalists killed in the Ponce massacre in front of Nationalist Party headquarters. Machine gun bullet holes in the wall. Ponce, Puerto Rico, Dec. 1937. Library of Congress.
Via Zinn Education Project