People are demanding that Puerto Rico’s governor resign after a profane and derogatory group chat he was in leaked.
Members of the chat room, which included Governor Ricardo Rosselló, used sexist language when referring to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín and former NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. A homophobic comment was also made in reference to artist and humanitarian Ricky Martin, who is from Puerto Rico.
Excerpts of the private chat room were initially leaked to local media on July 8. The contents were then released in their entirety on July 13 by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism. After the full chat was revealed, officials from Rosselló’s own party urged him to reflect and “re-evaluate” his position. Meanwhile, other top officials in the chat resigned, including Puerto Rico’s Secretary of State Luis G. Rivera Marin, who would have been next in line for the governorship.
Protesters gathered outside the government’s mansion over the weekend. And critics on Twitter, including Ricky Martin, Residente, and Bad Bunny, have also urged Rooselló to step down—but he says he has no plans to resign.
The governor has faced increased criticism over his handling of Hurricane Maria recovery, as well as a series of corruption scandals culminating in the arrests of two former Cabinet members last week. Critics say the chat scandal will fuel more distrust for Puerto Rican officials by the U.S. federal government.
Activists in Puerto Rico and the U.S. are continuing to plan protests are continuing to plan protests.