July 16, 2019
Thousands march against Ricardo Rosselló after chats revealed sexist language and anti-gay remarks about singer Ricky Martin
Puerto Rico: protesters urge governor to quit after leak of homophobic messages
Thousands of protesters have marched in Puerto Rico’s capital city for a third day to call for the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló after sexist private chat messages were leaked.
The leak of at least 889 pages of the private chats has sunk Rosselló into the deepest crisis of his career, nearly two years after Hurricane María exposed Puerto Rico’s collapsing long-neglected infrastructure and leaving several thousand dead on Rosselló’s watch. Last week, two of his top former officials were arrested by the FBI on corruption charges.
Police in riot gear launched teargas and pepper spray into the crowds of protesters on Monday night, local media reported.
In the chats on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, Rosselló calls one New York female politician of Puerto Rican background a “whore”, describes another as a “daughter of a bitch” and makes fun of an obese man he posed with in a photo.
The chat also contains vulgar references to Puerto Rican star Ricky Martin’s homosexuality and a series of emojis of a raised middle finger directed at a federal control board overseeing the island’s finances.
Puerto Rico: protesters urge governor to quit after leak of homophobic messages
For many Puerto Ricans still recovering from one of the United States’ worst-ever disasters, on the back of the island’s biggest public financial collapse, the scandal analysts and ordinary people are calling “Chatgate” or “Rickyleaks” has proven to be too much.
Despite widespread cynicism in Puerto Rico about politicians’ corruption and self-dealing, the chat shocked residents in a way that other scandals haven’t, particularly given Rosselló’s image as a gentle, even meek family man, said Mario Negrón Portillo, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico’s school of public administration.
“Everyone woke up one day and the governor was spouting vulgarities,” Negrón said. “There’s nothing worse for a politician than losing legitimacy. I think Ricardo Rosselló has lost legitimacy.”
The leaders of the US territory’s house and senate said they were not planning impeachment proceedings, but an influential association of mayors from Rosselló’s pro-statehood party said he had lost their support.
Puerto Rican artists Benito A Martínez Ocasio, known as Bad Bunny, and René Pérez, known as Residente, both said on Twitter they planned to return to Puerto Rico to join the protests. Playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose production of Hamilton on the island is mentioned in the chats, called them “a very disturbing portrait of how this administration operates”.
Even if Rosselló survives until election day next year, it seems clear to many observers that he has been profoundly weakened and less able to deal with crises ranging from the island’s bankruptcy proceedings to its continued efforts to receive federal funding to help recovery from María.
Late Monday, Rosselló released a statement saying he respected the protests and was taking their message into account.
Puerto Rico: protesters urge governor to quit after leak of homophobic messages
“Unfortunately, despite responsible calls for peaceful demonstrations by many participants, a few others decided to damage public property and assault public officials who tried to preserve order and defend the security and rights of all,” he said.
Chatgate erupted a day after Rosselló’s former secretary of education and five other people were arrested on charges of steering federal money to unqualified, politically connected contractors. Starting on Thursday, an anonymous person or people with access to the chats leaked dozens of pages of them to two local outlets. On Saturday, Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 889 pages.
In the chat group were Luis Rivera Marín, Rosselló’s secretary of state; Christian Sobrino, who held a series of important economic posts; Carlos Bermúdez, a one-time communications aide; Edwin Miranda, a communications consultant; the interior secretary Ricardo Llerandi; the public affairs secretary, Anthony Maceira, and Elías Sánchez, one-time representative to the board overseeing Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy.
The group mentions then-New York City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who had criticized the Democratic party head, Tom Pérez, for opposing Puerto Rican statehood, with Rosselló calling her the Spanish word for “whore”.
Puerto Rico: protesters urge governor to quit after leak of homophobic messages
Referring to Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan who had announced her intent to run against Rosselló in 2020, the governor says, “she’s off her meds”.
“Either that, or she’s a tremendous HP,” he continues, using the Spanish initials for “son/daughter of a bitch”.
The president of the commonwealth’s house of representatives, Carlos Méndez Núñez, said Sunday night that legislators from Rosselló’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party, which has a majority in both houses, did not support starting impeachment proceedings against the governor.
Méndez Núñez said Rosselló had been given a one-week deadline to reflect, show contrition and prove he could continue to govern.
“This week he’ll meet with mayors, with legislators, and we have to give him this time,” Méndez Núñez said. “Impeachment isn’t on the table yet. But we reserve the right to evaluate if that’s merited.”
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Ireland Baldwin poses topless on Instagram to get out the vote | Page Six Celebrity News
October 23, 2020
DDaZ7sStE9g
Ariana Grande flaunts ‘Positions’ in sexy White House video | Page Six Celebrity News
October 23, 2020
mHAFoj58EbA
Gene Simmons kisses longtime LA home goodbye | Page Six Celebrity News
October 23, 2020
xB88qKuvU2k
Borat Is Back and Rudy Giuliani Is Not a Fan
October 23, 2020
_VaWIhJNufU
Did Ariana Grande Call Out Ex Pete Davidson in "Positions"? | E! News
October 23, 2020
t9TEzbYEzOY
Matthew McConaughey's Son Is His Mini Me | E! News
October 23, 2020
sQKxxUJwYxY
Aloe Blacc: Live from My Den
October 23, 2020
-ol2cCTBZeI
Tyler Perry on Producing During the Pandemic and Weighing In on Politics
October 23, 2020
GCtEmmdmAz0
AT&T Reports Solid Third-Quarter Financial Results
October 22, 2020
6lRXJoeGtzo
Danny Trejo Says Ex-Cons Should Be Able to Vote, Rips Trump's Prison Reform | TMZ
October 24, 2020
XhKoXhS3fC0
Best of TMZ on TV This Week: 10/19 - 10/23
October 23, 2020
w6FVKfRQaRY
Sen. Schumer Says Let Voters Wear Candidate Tees to Polls, Guns a 'Bad Idea'
October 22, 2020
acze3hftFEc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
23
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Derby County
23
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Leeds
23
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Torino
23
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Elche - Valencia
21
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Preston NE
21
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Blackburn
21
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Cardiff City - Bournemouth
21
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Brentford
21
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Barnsley
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Birmingham
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Swansea City
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Rotherham
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Luton
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Derby County
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Reading - Wycombe Wanderers
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Middlesbrough
19
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Wolves
19
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Burnley
19
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Genoa
18
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Benevento
18
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United
18
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Aston Villa
18
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Sociedad
18
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Koln - Eintracht Frankfurt
18
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Schalke - Union Berlin
18
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Elche
18
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Huesca - Real Valladolid
18
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Parma
18
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Valencia
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Arsenal
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - AC Milan
17
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Arminia Bielefeld - Bayern Munich
17
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hoffenheim - Borussia Dortmund
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Southampton
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Manchester United
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Barcelona
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Crotone - Juventus
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Cadiz
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Atletico Madrid
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Atalanta
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Liverpool
15
Oct
GERMANY: National cup
Duren Merzenich - Bayern Munich
13
Oct
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Switzerland
10
Oct
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Ukraine - Germany
04
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Tottenham Hotspur
04
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Liverpool
04
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Hertha Berlin
04
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Sevilla
04
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Spezia
04
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Real Madrid
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.