Puerto Rican citizens have had enough with their governor.
The Puerto Rican public have not favored Ricardo Rosselló for a few years now. They partially blame him for the poor handling of the recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. But a recent incident has sent the country up in flames.
A local news source released almost 900 pages of a leaked private group chat between Rosselló and 11 friends/allies. The conversation was constantly homophobic, misogynistic, and cruel in relation to Puerto Rico’s citizens. One such conversation mocked their female colleagues as “whores.” Another saw the group talking about shooting political opponents and mocking the death of a local activist.
In response to this leaked group chat, thousands of Puerto Rican citizens gathered outside the governor’s mansion in San Juan. Unfortunately, the situation escalated after police in riot gear turned up at the scene. Protesters started throwing water bottles at the officers, the police then began shooting tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets at the crowd.
Our report for CBSN on what happened last night in front of the Governors mansion in San Juan, Puerto Rico pic.twitter.com/5NgEiSybCG
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) July 16, 2019
— Olga Flores (@flores_0h) July 16, 2019
The people of Puerto Rico are calling on their governor to resign.
This is one video from last night.#RickyRenucia
— Stop Cop City (@JoshuaPHilll) July 16, 2019
Puerto Rico is taking a historical step towards a bright future, we have suffered enough corruption throughout the years and is time for a change. #despiertaboricua #RickyRenuncia pic.twitter.com/lDFE8zFH9h
— William Sanchez (@SanchezGalindez) July 16, 2019
— Christopher Mendes (@cmendes0101) July 16, 2019
The situation in my island of 🇵🇷 is sad 😞 the corruption has downgraded Puerto Rico 💔😞 We protest because we want a better Puerto Rico… The politicians in the island are the worst they don’t care about us they only care about themselves… #WeRise pic.twitter.com/xqTQVmw10S
— ⚡️Beowulf™️⚡️ (@Beowulf_CR) July 17, 2019
Despite this chaotic end to the protests last night, more are expected to show up tomorrow. One of those protesters will be Ricky Martin.
The initially leaked conversation included several homophobic jokes and comments made at LGBTQ people. Ricky Martin specifically was a target of ridicule and mocking from the group. As Rosselló said about the singer, “Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin. Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f*cks men because women don’t measure up. Pure patriarchy.”
In response, Martin posted to social media on Tuesday night that he’ll be heading to Puerto Rico to join the massive protests against the governor.
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) July 17, 2019
In response to this aggressive backlash after the group chat was leaked, Rosselló initially apologized. That said, he shared that he has no plans of stepping down from his position.
“I’m going to continue,” he told a local radio interviewer earlier this week. “We are all bruised. I’m bruised. But I recognize it, and I have to get back up.”
But with so many citizens openly opposing his rule, things are going to be hard for Rosselló. In addition, legislators have already brought forth impeachment charges against him to Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives. But, leaders of the New Progressive Party, which Rosselló belongs to, say they want to give him another chance to “reflect on his future” before going further with impeachment.
What’s undeniable is that Puerto Rico is at a turbulent and violent time. And, Governor Ricardo Rosselló is the very root and cause of the conflict.