Anti-corruption legislation in Puerto Rico: A sociolegal study of the registry of persons convicted of corruption




Corruption, anti-corruption reforms, colonialism, legislation, punitive governance


This paper engages in a sociolegal analysis of the anti-corruption legislation enacted by the Puerto Rican Government in the aftermath of Maria (2017). The paper pays particular attention to the implementation and sociolegal impact of Act 2 of January 4, 2018, entitled, “The Anti-Corruption Code for the New Puerto Rico” and the creation of a Registry of Persons Convicted of Corruption. The rationale behind the Act and the Registry is to enforce transparency, open governance, and help the Puerto Rican government in its efforts to eradicate public corruption. Conversely, this paper argues that these reforms have introduce a punitive approach to anti-corruption in PR. Approach that I have termed, punitive governance. The paper suggests Act 2 and the Registry had have a dual outcome: 1) a punitive approach to corruption that harm people in precarious positions, and 2) normalize the structural dynamic enabling corruption the powerful. Thus, this paper intends to illustrate the contradictions in anti-corruption as punitive governance, and the way in which a specific image of corruption is reproduced through governmental actions, legal practices, and discourses.


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Author Biography

Jose Manuel Atiles-Osoria, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Assistant Professor. Department of Sociology of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Email address:


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How to Cite

Atiles-Osoria, J. M. (2024) “Anti-corruption legislation in Puerto Rico: A sociolegal study of the registry of persons convicted of corruption ”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 14(1), pp. 76–98. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl.1676.