For an island still reeling from damage done by Hurricane Maria almost two years ago, the turnout to protest Puerto Rico's governor Ricardo Rosselló is nothing short of astonishing.
The protests have also inspired solidarity protests in NYC, home to a large population of Puerto Ricans. Rosselló has also gotten criticism from others of Puerto Rican descent, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, actor Luis Guzman and singer Bad Bunny.
Puerto Ricans flooded the streets of Old San Juan, demanding the resignation of Rosselló after stories came out of millions of recovery dollars being funneled to buddies and leaked emails with sexist comments and a weirdly homophobic attack on singer Ricky Martin, as well as just sheer disdain for hurricane victims. Pressure mounted when the Puerto Rican legislature stated on Wednesday that they would begin impeachment procedures after an investigation found ample evidence of impeachable crimes.
The messages were also leaked on the same week Puerto Rico's former secretary of education, Julia Keleher; former Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration head Ángela Ávila-Marrero; and four others with government contracts under Rosselló’s administration were arrested and charged with 32 counts of money laundering, fraud and other related charges for allegedly embezzling $15.5 million in federal funding from 2017 to 2019.
The Rosselló administration has been rocked by various other corruption investigations since June. Rosselló ousted Maldonado as chief financial officer after Maldonado said on a radio show that Puerto Rico’s Department of Treasury is run by "an institutional mafia of many years.”
So, facing the inevitable, Rosselló released a video announcing his resignation, effective August 2, and that his successor would be his justice secretary, Wanda Vázquez.
Puerto Ricans reacted accordingly.