Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of ABC News
Puerto Rico's Governor, Ricardo Rosselló Has Resigned After Two Weeks Of Protests
Governor Richardo Rosselló has announced that he will resign as of August 2. This decision came in late Wednesday night after two weeks of protests sparked by leaked homophobic and problematic text messages sent by the governor.
A crowd of protestors had been standing outside of the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan when they got wind of the resignation announcement — everyone broke into cheers and singing.
Rosselló gave his resignation statement, saying: “My only priority has been the transformation of our island and the well-being of our people. The demands have been overwhelming and I’ve received them with the highest degree of humility.”
Rosselló, 40, is the son of a former governor as well as the first chief executive to resign in the history of Puerto Rico.
Replacing Rosselló will be Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez who will become the second female governor in Puerto Rico’s history.
Jalil Serrano, a designer, tells Skift: “It’s historic [the resignation], but we have to be cautious. What will happen beyond this? There are concerns, but there is also hope.” He gestures to the crowd of young Puerto Ricans outside the mansion and says, “this belongs to them.”
The announcement was made after long hours of having Puerto Rican protestors outside in colonial Old San Juan. Rosselló had promised to give the people of Puerto Rico a message but instead, he went hours with unexplained silence.
Initially, the announcement was expected at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Instead, it came less than a half-hour before the clock struck midnight.
Rosselló also said in his statement: “Despite expective to service the term that the people democratically elected me to, today I feel that continuing in this position represents a threat to the success we have received.”
Rep. Gabriel Rodríguez, a member of Rosselló’s pro-statehood party, told The Associated Press that the president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives gave Rosselló an ultimatum: resign or get impeached.
There was a point throughout the night where dozens of police officers wearing full riot gear marched out the governor’s mansion and headed towards the protesters.
As the officers were approaching, the crowd of protestors began chanting: “We want peace, and they want war!”
Puerto Ricans have been protesting for the past two weeks in hopes that Rosselló would resign.
The messages leaked, exposed Rosselló calling a female politician a “whore” and referring to another as a “daughter of a bitch.”
Officials announced on Tuesday that a Puerto Rico judge issued search warrants for the cell phones of the government officials that were involved in the leaked text messages.
There have been over a dozen government officials to resign since the text messages were leaked in early July.
The officials are still being investigated.