Francisco Zayas Seijo

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Francisco R. Zayas Seijo
26-DSC00542 - Francisco R. Zayas Seijo (Mayor of Ponce, PR).jpg
Mayor Francisco R. Zayas Seijo
Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico
In office
January 9, 2005 – January 12, 2009
Preceded by Delis Castillo (Interim)
Succeeded by María "Mayita" Meléndez Altieri
25th District Ponce, Jayuya
In office
January 2, 1993 – January 2, 2004
Succeeded by Piro Reyes
Personal details
Born (1951-10-04) October 4, 1951 (age 65)
Santurce, Puerto Rico
Political party Popular Democratic Party (PPD)
Spouse(s) Nancy Colón
Children 4 (Francisco Rafael and 3 others)
Alma mater College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts
University of Pennsylvania (DVM)
Profession Veterinarian, Politician

Francisco R. Zayas Seijo, also known as Ico (born October 4, 1951), is a former member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and mayor of the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. During his 4-year mayoral term, Zayas Seijo established the Mariana Suárez de Longo Library and Historical Archive of Ponce, the Museo del Autonomismo Puertorriqueño, the Centro Ponceño de Autismo[1][2] (English: Ponce Center for Autism), the Agüeybaná II "El Bravo" Plaza, and also expanded the Julio Enrique Monagas Family Park. He initiated to the concept of the Centro de Convenciones de Ponce and the Ponce Aquarium; however, neither one of these two saw fruiction before he completed his term in January 2009. He was, however, instrumental in the development of the Parque Lineal Veredas del Labrador,[3][4] as well as the Río Portugués Dam and the expansion of the Ponce Municipal Police.[5] During his administration, the Municipal Police acquired, installed, and put into operation 106 street cameras and a video command center. These were complemented by 130 additional cameras installed by the Puerto Rico Police.[6]

Early life[edit]

Zayas Seijo was born on October 4, 1951, in Santurce, Puerto Rico[7] to Héctor Zayas Chardón and Dr. Esther Seijo Tizol. Both his parents were actively involved with former Governor Luis Muñoz Marín. He is a first cousin to journalist Jorge Seijo.

When he was 16 years old, Zayas Seijo enrolled at the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts of Mayagüez where he obtained a bachelor's degree in agronomy. Afterwards, he was accepted at the Veterinary School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1975 where he completed his doctoral degree in veterinary medicine at age 23.

Upon marrying Nancy Colón in 1973, they moved to Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Career and Work[edit]

In 1975 he established a successful veterinary clinic in Ponce. He also worked at several universities and gathered much recognition for his work. In 1980, he was selected as Distinguished Youth by the Who's Who in Young American People.

Political career[edit]

Zayas Seijo got involved in politics in 1984 when Raúl Ramírez, mayoral candidate, recruited him to be part of his team. Even though they were defeated, Zayas established himself as the minority spokesman. He remained in that position until 1991.

That year, his uncle, Humberto Zayas Chardón, retired from politics and vacated the seat he occupied in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives. Zayas ran for the post and was elected by the party. He represented the 25th Representative District (Ponce and Jayuya) for 13 years. He presided the House's Comisión de Hacienda (English: Treasury Commission) during the administration of governor Sila Calderón.[8]

In 2000 he presided over an important commission that investigated government financial procedures a few months before the general election. The work he did garnered him all sort of criticism from his political opposition.

In 2004, Zayas Seijo was elected unanimously as the official candidate for the mayoral seat in Ponce, after the death of long-time mayor Rafael Cordero Santiago. On November 2, 2004, he was elected mayor of Ponce by an ample margin. He was sworn into office on January 9, 2005.

On November 4, 2008, Zayas Seijo lost the election to the candidate of the New Progressive Party, Dr. María "Mayita" Meléndez Altieri and was succeeded on January 12, 2009.


Zayas Seijo is best remembered for the establishment of the Biblioteca y Archivo Histórico de Ponce Mariana Suárez de Longo (Mariana Suárez de Longo Library and Historical Archive of Ponce)[9] at a cost of $10.5 million USD. He also established the Museum of Puerto Rican Autonomism at Panteon Nacional Roman Baldorioty de Castro in 2006.[10] He started construction of the Centro de Convenciones de Ponce[11] and gave birth to the concept of the Ponce Aquarium.[12][13] However, neither one was completed by the time Zayas' administration came to an end in January 2009. In October 2008, Zayas Seijo inaugurated Plaza Agüeybaná II "El Bravo" at the intersection of PR-123 and PR-2 in the Caracoles sector of barrio Playa, Ponce. A plaque at the site marks the inauguration of the park dedicated to the memory of the leader of the last Taino battle against the Spanish invaders in 1511. Zayas Seijo is also credited with expanding the Julio Enrique Monagas Family Park in October 2008, and with the establishment of the Ponce Center for Autism during his tenure.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Zayas has been married to Nancy Colón since 1973. They have four children together.

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Delis Castillo
Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico
Succeeded by
María Meléndez Altieri


  1. ^ CEPA NO CUMPLE CON NIÑOS CON AUTISMO. Roberto Mercado and Associates. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  2. ^ Inauguran el Centro Ponceño de Autismo. El Visitante: Prensa Catolica para la paz. EV Revista. 16–22 November 2008. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  4. ^ Con $18 millones: Termina la espera por el Parque Lineal. Omar Alfonso. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  5. ^ Ex congresista republicano respalda candidatura de Ico Zayas. El Sur a la Vista. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  6. ^ Inactivas 130 de cámaras de la Policía. Jason Rodríguez Grafal. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 23 January 2013.
  7. ^ Históricas las elecciones en Ponce
  8. ^ ¿Nuevo cisma en el PPD?: Soplan vientos de primaria en Ponce. Jason Rodríguez Grafal. ¿Nuevo cisma en el PPD?: Soplan vientos de primaria en Ponce. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Week of 29 June 2011 to 6 July 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  9. ^ Biblioteca y Archivo Histórico de Ponce Mariana Suárez de Longo La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  10. ^ Museo del Autonomismo Puertorriqueño. Gobierno Municipal de Ponce. Museo del Autonismo Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Autonomism Museum), Panteon Nacional Roman Baldorioty de Castro, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Accessed November 10, 2010
  11. ^ En la mesa de la Alcaldesa de Ponce: ¿Cambios para el Centro de Convenciones? Jason Rodríguez Grafal. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  12. ^ Convention Center started construction under Zayas' administration. Aquarium brainchild of Zayas Seijo administration as well
  13. ^ La Alcaldesa de Ponce: Avala Acuario y Centro de Convenciones. Jason Rodríguez Grafal. La Perla del sur. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  14. ^ Dr. Graham señala crisis fiscal en Municipio de Ponce. 10 May 2011. El Sur a la Vista. Retrieved 10 May 2011.

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