Open main menu

José Figueroa Sancha is a former Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police Department and former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Puerto Rico. After being appointed by Governor of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuño as Superintendent in 2008, he resigned in 2011 amidst criticisms in the middle of a crime wave in the island.[1]

José Figueroa Sancha
Police career
CountryPuerto Rico
DepartmentPuerto Rico Police Department
RankSuperintendent (January 2, 2009 - July 2, 2011)


Career with the FBIEdit

As Deputy Director of the FBI in Puerto Rico, Figueroa Sancha was one of the people in charge of the operative where Filiberto Ojeda Ríos was killed in September 2005.[2] He was also the agent in charge of an operative at an apartment building in Río Piedras where agents pushed and shoved members of the press, spraying them with pepper spray. The incident caused a lot of commotion amongst the press community and the Puerto Rico Press Association and the Overseas Press Club sued the FBI.[3][4]

Career as SuperintendentEdit

In November 2009, Puerto Rico Governor-elect Luis Fortuño named Figueroa Sancha as Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police Department, and he was confirmed by the Senate in January.

During 2010, Figueroa Sancha dealt with numerous riots and incidents involving students of the University of Puerto Rico and members of the police. These were as a result of a student's strike against new policies from the University administration and the government.[5][6][7]

In 2011, the rate of murders in Puerto Rico increased rapidly, which led many sectors to ask for Figueroa Sancha's resignation. Figueroa Sancha officially resigned on July 2, 2011, after less than three years in his position, after criticism for his work and the lack of positive results under his command. Allegedly, the governor asked him to resign, but this was denied by the government.[8][9] Puerto Rico recorded its second-worst year for killings under his watch in 2010, while 2011 is currently the worst in the history of the island.[10]

Political aspirationsEdit

After his resignation, Figueroa Sancha admitted that he had been approached by leaders of the PNP, Thomas Rivera Schatz and Héctor O'Neill, for a possible aspiration to the Senate of Puerto Rico.[11] However, Jorge Santini, mayor of San Juan, didn't support him. Two days later, Figueroa Sancha announced that he wouldn't run for the Senate and would instead dedicate his time to a private security company he had started.[12][13]


  1. ^ Cronología de José Figueroa Sancha on El Nuevo Día (July 2, 2011)
  2. ^ Renuncia tardía la de Figueroa Sancha on WAPA-TV (4/7/2011)
  3. ^ Informe de Investigación sobre Incidente entre FBI y la prensa de Puerto Rico Archived 2012-04-14 at the Wayback Machine on GobiernoPR
  4. ^ Fuerza excesiva del FBI on Primera Hora; Bauza, Nydia (June 19, 2008)
  5. ^ Suspensiones sumarias en la UPR on Primera Hora; Díaz Alcaide, Maritza (December 18, 2010)
  6. ^ Policía ocupa el Recinto de Río Piedras Archived 2010-12-13 at the Wayback Machine on El Vocero; Figueroa Loza, Jorge and Yennifer Álvarez Jaimes (December 8, 2011)
  7. ^ Estudiantes paralizan la UPR on El Nuevo Día (April 21, 2010)
  8. ^ Confirman renuncia del Superintendente de la Policía on Primera Hora; Vera González, Emanuel (July 2, 2011)
  9. ^ Rodríguez Ema niega despido de José Figueroa Sancha on Primera Hora; Rivera Quiñones, Ivelisse (July 2, 2011)
  10. ^ Asesinatos alcanzan cifra récord on El Nuevo Día (November 16, 2011)
  11. ^ Figueroa Sancha considera aspirar a Senador de San Juan on El Nuevo Día; Rosario, Frances (October 24, 2011)
  12. ^ Jorge Santini le da la espalda a José Figueroa Sancha on Primera Hora; Díaz Alcaide, Maritza (October 25, 2011)
  13. ^ Figueroa Sancha desiste aspirar al Senado[permanent dead link] on El Vocero; Méndez, Milly (October 26, 2011)
Police appointments
Preceded by
Agustín Cartagena Díaz
Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police Department
January 2, 2009-July 6, 2011
Succeeded by
José L. Rivera (interim)