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News > Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Press Secretary Resigns Over 'Ricky Leaks' Scandal

  • Since the scandal came to light, protests have been conducted daily.

    Since the scandal came to light, protests have been conducted daily. | Photo: EFE

Published 20 July 2019

Ex-Secretary Dennise Perez was called “corrupt” in front of her son for being associated with Rossello’s government. This was her limit.

Puerto Rican Press Secretary Dennise Perez filed her formal resignation Friday, citing the current corruption scandal surrounding Governor Ricardo Rossello as her reason for leaving.

Day 7: Puerto Ricans Continue Call for Rossello's Resignation

According to the letter, which was dated July 19, Perez was called “corrupt” in front of her son for being associated with Rossello’s administration and this, she said, was her limit.

The “Ricky Leaks” scandal, as it’s being called, revealed that Rossello had sabotaged his competitor’s campaign during the run for office.

On July 13, an 889-page document, released by the non-profit journalism group Center for Investigative Journalism, revealed how the governor, along with 11 high-ranking members of his office, manipulated public opinion about his administration through mass media, creating a “troll network” to discredit negative press coverage, criticism from opposition leaders, and even journalists.

Since then protests have been conducted days straight with demonstrators calling for the governor’s resignation.

In a statement released Thursday, ex-Governor Luis Fortuño said, “I call on the Governor. The future of Puerto Rico is at stake and its figure makes it impossible to move on to the new chapter of our history. Holding on to the chair makes this process more difficult for everyone. For you, your family, our ideal and Puerto Rico, let someone else finish his term.”

Saturday, protesters filled the street outside the governor’s residence known as La Fortaleza. Security prevented them from actually entering the property, but for two kilometers, participants stood in peaceful protest while an organizer read aloud Rossello’s offensive chat messages.

Thirty-two year-old San Juan native, Claudio, said, "It's important to read this, do it collectively. t has been the catalyst for protest and everything that has happened.”

A special advisory committee was formed by Carlos "Johnny" Mendez, president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, to guide the investigations against Rossello and to determine if his actions are infractions and merit a political trial.

"We are here to ask for this evaluation, one that will be transparent and responsible," Mendez said.

“I thank this group of lawyers for taking a step forward in this historic moment for Puerto Rico. We will thoroughly evaluate the conclusions of this committee so that we can proceed.”

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