Miguel Pereira Castillo

Miguel Pereira
25th Senate of Puerto Rico
Assumed office
January 2, 2013
Governor Alejandro García Padilla
Secretary of Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
In office
November 2, 2003  January 1, 2009
Governor Sila Calderón
Anibal Acevedo Vilá
Succeeded by Carlos Molina
Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police Department
In office
May 14, 2002  November 1, 2003
Governor Sila Calderón
Preceded by Pierre Vivoni del Valle
Succeeded by Víctor Rivera González
Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority
In office
January 2, 2001  2002
Governor Sila Calderón
Personal details
Born (1947-09-26) September 26, 1947
Cayey, Puerto Rico
Political party Popular Democratic Party (PPD)
Alma mater University of Puerto Rico
Awards Purple Heart
Silver Star
Airman's Medal
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Miguel A. Pereira Castillo (born September 26, 1947) is a Puerto Rican politician, attorney, and public servant. Throughout his career, he has served in various government positions like Director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police Department and Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In 2012, he was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico for the District of Guayama.

Early years and studies

Miguel Pereira Castillo was born on September 26, 1947 in Cayey, Puerto Rico. His parents were two schoolteachers, Miguel and Gilda.[1] Pereira studied in Puerto Rico public school system, obtaining his high school diploma from the Benjamin Harrison High School in his hometown.[2]

In 1964, Pereira enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras to complete a Bachelor's degree in psychology. While studying there, he had his first military experience with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Pereira graduated in 1968 in the middle of the Vietnam War.[1]

Military and professional career

After graduating, Pereira joined the United States Air Force and became a rescue helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.[1] During that time, he accrued more than 1,000 flight hours. Pereira was shot down on December 27, 1972 while flying a rescue mission 22 miles away from Hanoi.[3] He also received a shot on his right arm for which he received a Purple Heart.[3][4] He would later receive a Silver Star as well.[4]

After five years, Pereira earned a scholarship to study law at Hofstra University in New York. After passing the bar exam, he returned to the Air Force Legal Department. After that, he started working for the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.. He worked as a district attorney for 12 years.[2]

Public service

In 2001, Governor of Puerto Rico Sila Calderón appointed Pereira as Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority. However, on 2002, Calderón put Pereira in charge of the Puerto Rico Police Department. The next year, Pereira swapped positions with Víctor Rivera González, which left him as Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.[5]

When Aníbal Acevedo Vilá won the 2004 elections, he left Pereira in charge of the Department of Corrections. Pereira occupied the seat for the next four years, finishing his term on January 1, 2009.[2] During his tenure, Pereira promoted the medication of drug addicts treating them as sick people instead of delinquents.[6]

Political career

In October 29, 2011, Pereira presented his candidacy to the Senate of Puerto Rico with the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). He decided to run for the District of Guayama because he was "born, raised, and educated in it."[6] On March 2012, he was the candidate with most votes within his district during the PPD primaries.[7] After the general elections, Pereira resulted victorious earning a seat in the Senate.

Military awards


  1. 1 2 3 Marrero, Rosita (December 3, 2011). "Miguel Pereira es romántico y enamora'o". Primera Hora.
  2. 1 2 3 Amy, Christian (November 15, 2011). "Miguel Pereira De piloto a fiscal y de secretario a político". La Cordillera.
  3. 1 2 Velázquez, Brunymarie (September 8, 2013). "Vamos a dejarnos de hipocresías". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Ex secretario de Corrección Miguel Pereira oficializa candidatura al Senado". Primera Hora (in Spanish). October 29, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  5. "Pesquera califica cambios como señal de fracaso y augura más renuncias". Puerto Rico Herald. December 19, 2002.
  6. 1 2 October 29, 2012. "Ex secretario de Corrección Miguel Pereira oficializa candidatura al Senado". Primera Hora.
  7. "Senadores por Distrito, Resultados Distrito Guayama VI". CEEPUR. March 22, 2012.
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