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The Legend of Roberto Cofresí

According to popular legend, Pirata Cofresi was the "Robin Hood" of Puerto Rico. Roberto Kupferachein Ramirez de Arellano was born on June 12 and baptized on June 27, 1791, in the small seaside town of Cabo Rojo. Cofresi was a product of his time, an era when the spanish colonies of the new world were demanding independence from Spain. As an adolescent Cofresi set out to change Spain's political policies towards his island of "Borinquen." 

From a very young age, Cofresi enjoyed taking his little boat out to listen to the tales of the old mariners. According to historical documents, in early years before becoming a pirate, Cofresi may have fished and transported vegetables in his small boat to sell in his home town. He later became a corsair, officially licensed to bring in foreign ships whose papers were not in order. We can only wonder how Cofresi was influenced while out at sea, watching the big ships carrying gold, jewels and other Caribbean treasures to Spain, England, and other far off places? 

By 1818 Cofresi and his crew of 15 men were engaged in piracy, stealing treasure from wealthy ships carrying riches to and from the Caribbean. In those days goods were scarce for the common people and Cofresi shared his booty with the poor. The people respected his bravery and protected him. Over the next several years, Cofresi terrorized European and American ships including the plundering of the Spanish "San Jose y las Animas" in 1824. It is said that he may have also aided Puerto Rico's rebellion movement against Spain by transporting arms from South America. 

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