Alexandra Lúgaro

On this date in 1981, Alexandra Lúgaro Aponte — attorney, atheist, businesswoman and political activist — was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to América (Aponte) and Luis Lúgaro Figueroa. 

After graduating from high school at age 15, she earned a degree in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico, followed by a juris doctorate in 2005. While engaged in her law practice, she received a master of laws (LL.M.) in public and private comparative law in 2014 from Complutense University of Madrid. Its thesis: taxation of income derived from illegal activities in Spain, the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

During that period she was also executive director of the Metropolitan New School of America and América Aponte & Associates — the latter founded by her mother — and president of Im-mortalis Corp. Lúgaro’s work focused on educational consulting for nonprofit and government clients. Her mother’s firm had contracts with the U.S. Department of Education for $46 million in funding for various tutorial programs.

Lúgaro gave birth in 2010 to her daughter Valentina through in-vitro fertilization with an anonymous donor. She married professional photographer Edwin Domínguez in Thailand in 2011 and announced their divorce in 2015.

She entered the political arena in 2015 as the first-ever Independent candidate for governor of Puerto Rico. The office traditionally had gone back and forth between the two major parties. Her platform, based on public education and economic development, supported same-sex unions, reproductive choice and legalization of marijuana for medical, social and economic reasons.

A religious group named PR for the Family condemned the platform after Lúgaro came out as an atheist: “You can’t call yourself a Christian and vote for this candidate,” it said in a December 2015 post. (Primera Hora, Nov. 27, 2016) She won just over 11 percent of the vote. In 2020 she ran as the candidate of the Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (Citizens’ Victory Movement), finished with 14 percent of the vote and announced her retirement from politics.

After the first election, she had started managing reggaeton singer/rapper William Omar Landrón Rivera, aka Don Omar. He retired in 2019 after selling over 70 million albums. She became executive director in 2021 of the Foundation for Puerto Rico’s Center for Strategic Innovation. Motto: There is no future in rebuilding the past. 

“I’m a supporter of our constitution, which enshrines the separation of church and state,” she has said. (Latin Post, April 21, 2015) “This is a principle constantly being criticized. But the separation of church and state, I believe, means there should exist, within a democratic state, a way in which we are all treated equally. The separation of church and state prevents the state from meddling in church affairs. In the same way, the church can impose rules on its members but not the rest of society.”

PHOTO: Lúgaro 2016 campaign photo under CC 4.0.

Freedom From Religion Foundation