(Reuters) – 1000’s of Puerto Ricans, led by protesters on horseback with some banging drums and singing, marched on the governor’s residence on Friday demanding that he resign over tons of of vulgar and offensive leaked chat messages.
The march on Governor Ricardo Rossello’s official San Juan residence was the newest in every week of typically violent protests over the messages attacking political adversaries, a few of which had been misogynistic and homophobic.
The chats on a Telegram message group had been printed on Saturday, including to Rossello’s woes the identical week that two of his former officers had been arrested by the FBI as a part of a federal corruption probe within the bankrupt U.S. territory.
The protests are the newest troubles to rock Puerto Rico, which has been pummeled by chapter and whipped by a devastating hurricane in 2017 that took a toll on the Caribbean island’s already fragile economic system.
Tons of of protesters on Friday gathered in streets close to the governor’s residence chanting, waving flags and banging pots and pans. Some carried placards studying “They Rob Us,” based on movies posted on Twitter.
On Friday night time, Rossello’s press secretary, Dennise Pérez, resigned, saying in assertion that she might now not maintain the place after she was known as corrupt in entrance of her son.
“It’s your flip, Ricky,” protesters chanted on the road after phrase unfold that Pérez had resigned, based on stories on Twitter.
A protest on Wednesday by which singer and actor Ricky Martin and reggaeton artist Unhealthy Bunny took half resulted in demonstrators’ overturning barricades and police firing tear gasoline.
Puerto Rico’s nonvoting consultant within the U.S. Congress, Jenniffer Gonzalez, known as for the resignation of Rossello, who’s head of Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Celebration and affiliated with the usDemocratic Celebration.
With a string of U.S. Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers additionally calling on Rossello to give up, the governor convened an emergency assembly with social gathering leaders. No time or date was set for the gathering.
The political turmoil comes at a vital stage within the U.S. territory’s chapter. It has additionally raised considerations with U.S. lawmakers who’re weighing the island’s requests for billions of federal for healthcare and for restoration efforts following devastating hurricanes in 2017.
Rossello has apologized for the messages, saying they had been “inappropriate” however not “unlawful.” On Friday he despatched tweets displaying him carrying on with enterprise as traditional.
In a report printed on Friday, Puerto Rico’s influential bar affiliation cited clear grounds to question the 40-year-old former scientist, based mostly on the “depravity” of the messages. The group’s president, Edgardo Roman, advisable the island’s legislature start the method.
Puerto Rico has by no means carried out a political impeachment, based on authorized specialists, and whereas opposition legislators again it, the method has but to realize vital assist from lawmakers in Rossello’s governing social gathering.
The 889 pages of messages revealed by Puerto Rico’s Middle for Investigative Journalism confirmed how Rossello and advisers exchanged memes and feedback that had been derogatory, misogynistic and homophobic, in addition to privileged data.
Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico, and Karen Pierog and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Extra reporting by Luis Valentin Ortiz in San Juan; Enhancing by Richard Chang and Leslie Adler