Puerto Rican Government Scandal & Protests Explained

#RickyRenuncia is trending worldwide on Twitter.

“This is even worse than Scandal.” Reads trending tagline in social media.

The government of Puerto Rico is facing one of the most incredible scandals in the territory’s history. A political crisis has emerged in Puerto Rico throughout the past week. The Governor Ricardo Rosselló-Nevares is no longer supported by the leaders of his own party and currently finds himself isolated in his office.

The present Governor’s administration is trembling and seems to be crumbling because of the publication of a “private chat” with derisive messages sent by the governor and some of his cabinet members and top aides on the messaging app Telegram. The messages mocked political foes and allies alike, with profanity.

On Saturday 13, the chief financial officer and Secretary of State had stepped down over their participation in the chat. The exits weren’t enough to calm the storm in the hours after the 889 pages of the chat were published by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism.

Protestors gathered around La Fortaleza, the first executive’s mansion at Old San Juan, later into the night and demanded his resignation.

“Ricky, ¡renuncia! ¡Eres enemigo del pueblo!” They chanted.

While in social media, many party members have stated that they do not support and will not support Gov. Ricardo Rosselló-Nevares because of the “insulting, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, and aggressive” messages that he tried to justify as private stress relievers.

“The content is DETESTABLE. (…) THEY’VE GOT TO GO.” Wrote the Puerto Rican’s Senate President, Honorable Thomas Rivera-Schatz.

“I determine and notify that the Governor of Puerto Rico does NOT have my support.” Hon. Sen. Zoé Laboy-Alvarado states in social media post.

On Sunday, Mr. Rosselló attended services at an evangelical church in Carolina, P.R., and said he had sought forgiveness and asked for prayers.

As the protests continued, the authorities deployed police officers in riot gear.

The governor’s office said  he plans to announce a government reorganization and anti-corruption measures in the coming days.

The messages in the private chat, which Puerto Ricans dubbed #TelegramGate and #RickyLeaks seem to be one of the ways that Mr. Rosselló and the administration has “released their anger and stress” the Governor said in the press conference earlier in the week. #RickyLeaks and #TelegramGate trended all over social media and pages of the chat spread like wildfire.

A series of corruption scandals further diminished Ricardo Rosselló-Nevares’ power, but still, he had been expected to run for re-election in 2020. A series of corruption scandals further diminished Ricardo Rosselló-Nevares’ power.

He apologized on Thursday after an excerpt from the chat was first published,and before the 889 pages were published, by local media showing he had referred to Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former speaker of the New York City Council, who was born in Puerto Rico, using the Spanish word for “slut.” In English, he also used a profane expression in reference to the board that controls Puerto Rico’s finances, followed by emojis of a raised middle finger.

The Governor’s critics were towards allies and foes, one of the highlighted criticisms was calling one of his own party, Sen. Evelyn Vázquez, a prostitute. Some of the people angered because of the verbal abuse have taken action; Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan filed a police report against Mr. Rosselló-Nevares and his former chief financial officer, Christian Sobrino, over a leaked message in which Mr. Sobrino had written in Spanish about Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan: “I am salivating to shoot her.” “You’d be doing me a favor,” Mr. Rosselló appeared to respond.

The complete cache of messages showed that the Governor and his current and former aides had also derided many others, like the Puerto Rican celebrity Ricky Martin. Mr. Martin, Puerto Rico’s Senate president and House majority leader said they had lost faith in Ricardo Rosselló-Nevares.

It appears that the protests will continue until the “correct decision” is made.

New articles about the topic:


Puerto Rico’s Largest Rally to Date: 500,000 People Demanding Governor’s

Demonstrations Are Unifying the People – Puerto Rico

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7 thoughts on “Puerto Rican Government Scandal & Protests Explained

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