Protesters Demand Puerto Rican Governor’s Resignation

Protests against Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló continued Wednesday for a fifth day as the embattled politician faces calls for his resignation, following the release of personal correspondence with his allies.Multiple Puerto Rican celebrities attended protests across the island, including musicians Bad Bunny and Ricky Martin.  Wednesday also marked an escalation of the protests. Demonstrators broke through a barricade at the governor’s mansion late Wednesday night, resulting in a swift police response, with law enforcement firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.Protests began on Saturday after Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 889 pages of chats between Rosselló and nine other men in his administration. Many of the messages were vulgar in content, with Rosselló and his colleagues repeatedly using slurs and making derogatory comments about individuals, including political rivals and celebrities.Rosselló was a member of a group chat on the encrypted messaging app Telegram that included numerous members of his administration, including his secretary of state, interior secretary, and public affairs secretary. Also in the group were finance and communications officials who were allied with the governor.Police units protect the area near the executive mansion from protesters demanding the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 15, 2019.According to Escalera, protesters had set fire to trash cans that served as a buffer between demonstrators and police,Rosselló had not been in the mansion at the time on the protests on Monday, however he released a comment calling the protests “an expression that I respect and very much keep in mind.”The governor condemned the property damage and confrontations, however, that took place during the protests.”There are many other ways to be heard,” he reinforced.Legislation was introduced in Puerto Rico’s house of representatives to impeach Rosselló, although both houses of the territory’s legislature are controlled by the governor’s party.Beatriz Rosselló, the wife of the governor, released a statement, calling for her husband to be forgiven.”He made a mistake, understood that and immediately apologized.”In a radio interview, the embattled governor recognized the effect the messengers had on himself and Puerto Rico.”We are all bruised — I’m bruised — but I recognize it, and I have to get back up,” he said.