Ricardo Rosselló: Puerto Rico’s governor is expected to resign today, source says

Ricardo Rosselló: Puerto Rico's governor is expected to resign today, source says

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 Rosselló 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 Rosselló 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.

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.
Puerto Ricans have been hit by a hurricane, corruption and a leader's crude insults. They're fighting back
Rosselló 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.

Search warrants issued for officials involved in chat scandal, Puerto Rico Justice Department says

Rosselló’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.”

CNN’s Julian Zamora and Leyla Santiago contributed to this report.

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