Jose Chemo Soto

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José Ramón Soto Rivera
Mayor of Canóvanas
In office
January 2, 1993 – June 28, 2014
Preceded by Estebán Meléndez
Succeeded by Lornna Soto
Personal details
Political party New Progressive Party (PNP)
Spouse(s) Delia Villanueva
Children 9
Occupation Politician
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army

José Ramón Soto Rivera —better known as Chemo Soto— is the mayor of Canóvanas, Puerto Rico[1] and a member of the New Progressive Party.

Soto began his tenure as mayor of Canóvanas when he was elected at the 1992 Puerto Rican general election. Soto beat candidates Estéban Meléndez (PPD) and Eduardo Betancourt (PIP) to win the seat.[2] He has been reelected five consecutive times (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012) making him one of the longest tenured mayors in the island.

During his time in office, Soto has become known for his fervent belief in the existence of the Chupacabra. Since the 1990s, Soto has claimed that the mythical creature roams the terrains of Canóvanas. Ever since, he has organized various expeditions to search for it, without success.[3]

In 2014, Soto announced his intention to retire from politics.[4] He was succeeded as mayor by his daughter, Lornna Soto. However, the next year, Soto announced he would aspire to a seat in the Senate of Puerto Rico.,[5] but he was defeated in the 2016 primaries.[6]

A high school at the San Isidro ward of Canóvanas, was named as school José Ramón Rivera Soto High School.

Personal life[edit]

Soto served in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War and later a police officer in the Puerto Rico Police. Has nine children from several relationships. One of his daughters, Lornna Soto, was a Puerto Rican Senator. She was the product of his relationship with Delia "Niní" Villanueva. Other of his children are Cristal and Christian "Chemito" Soto Mujica.[7] Christian recently pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in US Federal Court.[8]


  1. ^ "Chupacabra inspired by sci-fi thriller from 90s". Pravda. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Consulta de Resultados: Municipio de Canóvanas, Elecciones Generales de 1992". CEEPUR. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ ""Chemo" Soto está listo para salir a capturar al chupacabras". Primera Hora. June 19, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ Caquías, Sandra (May 17, 2014). "Chemo Soto: "Dios es quien quita y pone reyes"". El Nuevo Día. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ ""Chemo" Soto buscará escaño en el Senado". El Nuevo Día. December 2, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ Rivera Vargas, Daniel (June 5, 2016). "Chemo Soto no llega al Senado". Primera Hora. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Otra hija de Chemo Soto aclara información de "Chemito"". El Nuevo Día. September 29, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  8. ^