Puerto Rico: Governor Rosello in crises over leaked messages

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Thousands of people have taken to the streets for a third consecutive day in Puerto Rico demanding the immediate resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello.

The protests in the US territory began after a group chat on the Telegram  app between the Governor  and nine other members of his administration was leaked on Thursday. The messages revealed obscene, sexist and homophobic remarks about women, political opponents, journalists and others, according to the Puerto Rico Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Protesters in San Juan  shouted as they gathered on Monday outside the governor’s residence “Ricky resign,” “You have to go,” and “We are not afraid”

Later on Monday, police dispersed the protesters using pepper spray

Police commissioner Henry Escalera, told reporters that some protesters had thrown bottles and tear gas at the governor’s residence during the standoff.

The Governor released a statement on Monday saying he respected the protests.

He said “Unfortunately, despite responsible calls for peaceful demonstrations by many participants, a few others decided to damage public property and assault public officials who tried to preserve order and defend the security and rights of all,”

According to local reports, the governor had joked about shooting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz in the leaked messages.

Rosello also heavily insulted former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in the messages.

The  governor released a statement in which he apologised for the comments, saying he had been under a lot of pressure, working 18-hour days, and had was only  releasing himself of tension. He also said he would let go members of his administration who participated in the group chat.

“Aware that the current environment cannot be maintained, I have communicated to all the other public officials involved in the chat that I will have to dispense with their services and/or their advice,” he said.

“This is a very painful situation for me, as governor, as a human being and as a Puerto Rican,”

“But I recognise there is no other way out and there is no worthwhile forgiveness on my part that does not include corrections and clear signs of intent to change.” Rossello Added.




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