Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is expected to resign today, source says
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is expected to resign Wednesday after more than a week of protests that rocked the island's capital city, a source familiar with the...
By Steve Almasy and Hollie Silverman, CNN
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossell is expected to resign Wednesday after more than a week of protests that rocked the island's capital city, a source familiar with the situation told CNN.
Thousands have jammed the streets of San Juan calling for the governor's resignation after Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism published a series of group messages between Rossell and his inner circle that included homophobic and misogynistic language and jokes about Hurricane Maria victims.
Demonstrators were determined to stay on the streets until Rossell stepped down, fed up with years of government corruption, high poverty rates, crushing debt and a painfully slow recovery since the 2017 disaster.
The person expected to take his place is Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez.
His chief of staff resigned
The news comes a day after his chief of staff submitted his resignation, effective July 31.
Ricardo Llerandi Cruz wrote in his resignation letter: "The last few days have been extremely difficult for everyone. At this historical juncture it is up to me to take the welfare of my family into consideration. The threats we've received can be tolerated as an individual, but I will never allow them to affect my home."
Protests on the US territory have been ongoing for more than a week -- and older protesters said Monday's demonstrations were among the largest they've ever seen.
Rossell said Sunday that he would remain in his position, but would not seek reelection in 2020.
Demonstrators said the leaked messages are just one of many reasons why Puerto Rico's leadership needs to go.
"I am fed up with the thieving government," protester Maristella Gross said at Monday night's protest. "I am fed up with corruption. I am fed up with lack of integrity."
"This is an opportunity to Puerto Rico to clean house, to start over," said Ediris Rivera, 23.
Rossell's office issued a statement Tuesday, saying he has been attentive and silent throughout the protests and will consider the people's best interests.
"When one side speaks legitimately, the other is responsible for listening carefully," the statement said. "The people are talking and I have to listen. ... For the moment, the future expressions that I will issue will be directed to the actions that we carry out as part of the government's work, as promised and expected by the people."