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Puerto Rico governor quits over leaked anti-LGBT messages

Reiss Smith July 25, 2019
Ricardo Rosselló

Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation in a Facebook video. (Facebook)

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló will resign after days of mass protests over a chain of derogatory leaked messages.

Rosselló announced his resignation on Wednesday (July 24), stating that he will leave office after a short transition period on Friday August 2.

“I feel that to continue in this position would make it difficult for the success that I have achieved to endure,” Rosselló said in a video posted to Facebook.

“What I wish most is peace and progress for my people.”

The governor will be replaced by Wanda Vázquez, currently the US territory’s justice secretary.

Puerto Rico governer faced impeachment

Just three days earlier the governor had insisted that he would not leave his post over the text message scandal.

But on Wednesday the Puerto Rican Legislature issued him an ultimatum, warning that they were ready to stay impeachment proceedings on Thursday (July 25).

Women protestors stand in the middle of a highway
Protestors fill the Expreso Las Américas highway calling for Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation. (Jose Jimenez/Getty Images)

Three attorneys commissioned by the House of Representatives’ president Méndez Núñez unanimously found five offences, according to NBC News.

Crowds who have been protesting for over a week erupted into cheers as the news broke, chanting “Ricky, we threw you out.”

What did the Puerto Rico governor’s messages say?

Mass protests began after a string of text messages between Rosselló and 11 of his top aides leaked on July 13.

Across 900 pages of conversation, the men used homophobic and misogynistic slurs against their critics and political opponents.

Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f***s men because women don’t measure up.

In one exchange Rosselló referred to journalist Benjamín Torres Gotay as an “unprecedented c***sucker,” a slur also used to target senator Eduardo Bhatia.

Singer Ricky Martin—who was born in San Juan—was singled out by Puerto Rico’s former chief financial officer Christian Sobrino Vega.

“Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin,” he reportedly wrote.

“Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f***s men because women don’t measure up. Pure patriarchy.”

Sobrino Vega is one of several politicians to have resigned in recent days.

In response to the messages, Martin became one of several celebrities to join in the protests outside of Rosselló’s official residence.

Rosselló and his team also made several slights against women, with the governor calling former New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito a “whore,” and Sobrino Vega saying that he was “salivating to shoot” San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

More: Puerto Rico

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