Immediately after the Nationalist Revolution of October 1950, Gov. Luis Muñoz Marín ordered the mass arrest of anyone in the Nationalist Party.
He also ordered the arrest of anyone affiliated with, or “suspected” of being, a Nationalist.
Gov. Muñoz Marín had passed a law in 1948 – known as Law 53, the Law of the Muzzle or Ley de la Mordaza – which made it a felony to sing La Borinqueña, talk about independence, criticize the US government, or own a Puerto Rican flag.
Under the authority of Law 53, Muñoz Marín demanded the widespread arrest of “suspected” Nationalists.
The men and women you see in the image below, were among the 3,000 “suspects” arrested by Muñoz Marín’s insular police force.
Throughout these arrests, all over the island, the soldiers lined Puerto Ricans up against the walls.
They pointed rifles and machine guns at them, accused them of being Communists, and sent them to jail.