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Governor doubles down despite calls for resignation
Published Friday, July 19, 2019 5:00 am
by Dennis Costa

Governor doubles down despite calls for resignation

Governor Ricardo A. Rosselló Nevares. (GFR Media)

Five straight days of widespread protests —including Wednesday’s march, one of the most massive in Puerto Rico’s history, with estimates ranging from 90,000 to half a million people in attendance— have done little to convince island governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign, despite mounting public pressure to do so.

“My family and I, as well as the people of Puerto Rico, are fully aware of the demonstrations that took place yesterday throughout the afternoon and evening. It had widespread participation, which I respect not only as an exercise in democracy, but also as a natural manifestation of frustrations resulting from recent events,” he added.

The events Rosselló referred to involve the leak last Saturday of a group chat between the governor and eleven top aides featuring sexist and homophobic remarks directed at politicians, journalists, activist groups and ordinary citizens, as well as possible instances of illegal activities favoring the current administration.

The disclosure of the explosive 889-page document, detailing conversations made through the messaging app Telegram from November 2018 to last January, also comes on the heels of federal arrests of top members in Rosselló’s cabinet —among them former Education secretary Julia Keleher and former executive director of Puerto Rico’s Health Insurance Administration, Ángela Ávila Marrero— on corruption charges last week.

“Over the past few days I have come forward to face the people of Puerto Rico and beg for forgiveness. I continue to