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Protesters Call for Exit of Puerto Rican Gov. Rosselló After Leaked Text Messages

HeadlineJul 16, 2019

Calls are mounting for Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign following a leak of nearly 900 pages of text messages by the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Journalism. The messages reveal sexist, homophobic and violent content exchanged between Rosselló and government officials. In one exchange, the governor jokes about shooting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and called former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito—who is an ally of Yulín Cruz—a “whore.” Rosselló also took aim at the federally appointed financial oversight board charged with managing the island’s debt crisis, writing, “Dear Oversight Board, Go F*** Yourself,” and made jokes about victims of Hurricane Maria.

Two top officials resigned as the scandal broke, but Rosselló, who is up for re-election next year, is resisting calls to step down. On Monday, Denis Márquez of the Puerto Rican Independence Party introduced formal complaints against the governor and called for his impeachment. Thousands of protesters have been taking to the streets in Puerto Rico.

Rafaela Estevez: “It was time for Puerto Rico to wake up and rise up against the oppressors, and we want to force the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló. He does not deserve the job he has, and the people have spoken. Even if the Legislature does not care one dime about the people, they are there because of us. And we are showing them, giving them a lesson that they have to remember we pay their wages.”

On Monday, police in San Juan tear-gassed demonstrators and made multiple arrests. Puerto Ricans also gathered in New York and other cities in support of the island. More protests are planned for today.

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