This Might Be Biggest Protest Ever in Puerto Rico

They want Gov. Ricardo Rossello to step down now
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2019 12:00 PM CDT
Puerto Ricans Gather En Masse Over Leader
Thousands of Puerto Ricans gather in San Juan for what many are expecting to be one of the biggest protests ever seen in the U.S. territory, with islanders pledging to drive Gov. Ricardo Rossello from office.   (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Thousands of Puerto Rican flags fluttered in the morning breeze as demonstrators arrived from across the island Monday for what many expected to be one of the biggest protests ever seen in the US territory, with irate islanders pledging to drive Gov. Ricardo Rosselló from office. Hundreds of thousands of people were expected to take over one of the island's busiest highways to press demands for the resignation of Rosselló over an obscenity-laced leaked online chat the governor had with allies as well as federal corruption charges leveled against his administration, per the AP. The demonstration in the capital of San Juan comes a day after Rosselló announced that he would not quit, but sought to calm the unrest by promising not to seek re-election or continue as head of his pro-statehood political party. That only further angered his critics.

"The people are not going to go away," said Johanna Soto of the northeastern city of Carolina. "That's what he's hoping for, but we outnumber him." The territory's largest newspaper, El Nuevo Dia, added to the pressure with a front page headline reading: "Governor, it's time to listen to the people: You have to resign." Organizers labeled the planned road shutdown "660,510 + 1," which represents the number of people who voted for Rosselló plus one more to reject his argument that he is not resigning because he was chosen by the people. It was the 10th consecutive day of protests, and more were being called for later in the week. The island's largest mall, Plaza de las Américas, closed ahead of the protest as did dozens of other businesses.

(More Puerto Rico stories.)

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