Antonio Correa Cotto
|Died||16 May 1952|
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Antonio Correa Cotto[note 1] (1926 – 1952), also known simply as Correa Cotto, was the first outlaw to gain legendary status in Puerto Rico.
Correa Cotto was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He began his criminal career as a child and by the time he was a teenager he had amassed a long criminal police record.
He committed two murders in Ponce and was sentenced to two life sentences in the state penitentiary. At the time of his sentencing, Correa Cotto swore that he would get even with those who testified against him and whom he deemed responsible for his current situation. On October 28, 1950, Correa Cotto instigated a prison revolt where some of the prison guards died. Arming himself with guns and ammunition, he escaped from prison. Correa Cotto made his way to a sector of Ponce called "Villa Olga", where he murdered 10 people.
The authorities organized what was then the largest manhunt in the history of the island. They placed a $10,000 ($104 thousand in 2018 dollars) bounty on his head, either dead or alive, which was a first in the crime annals of Puerto Rico. The police detained over 70 friends and family members for questioning. On May 16, 1952, the police were alerted that Correa Cotto was living on a farm in "Barrancas" on the outskirts of the City of Ponce. When the police arrived, they called on him to surrender, but he answered by firing his gun. The police set fire to the sugar cane fields which surrounded Correa Cotto's hideout. He came out firing a gun in one hand and held a machete in the other. Under the orders of Captain Luis M. Pérez, the police opened fire on Correa Cotto, killing him.
Three movies have been made about the life of Correa Cotto. These include the movie Correa Cotto: Así me Llaman (Correa Cotto: That's what they call me) (1968), produced by Antony Felton, which showed the popular impact that Correa Cotto's crimes had on the Puerto Rican society of the 1950s. In La Venganza de Correa Cotto (The Vengeance of Correa Cotto) (1969), produced and directed by Jeronimo Mitchel and Anthony Felton with the participation of Miguel Ángel Álvarez and Lucy Boscana, the producers attempt to look into the human and intimate side of Correa Cotto.
- Personajes Notorios Archived May 26, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
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- Cementerio Civil de Ponce. 3 January 2019.
- Ponce se prepara para celebrar su día mundial. Darisabel Texidor Guadalupe. Primera Hora. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.