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  • People have gathered in front of Puerto Rico governer’s house to demand his resignation.

    People have gathered in front of Puerto Rico governer’s house to demand his resignation. | Photo: Twitter / @GonzalezSabe

Published 14 July 2019

Protesters have called for marches in Puerto Rico against the governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares demanding his resignation for corruption and trolling people.

The Victoria Citizen Movement published a statement Sunday demanding the resignation of Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello Nevares. They asked different organizations to gather in front of the Capitol Monday and demand the legislature to remove the governor from office after he was accused of corruption by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested his cabinet members last week. 

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“The arrests of the Secretary of Justice, the director of the Health Insurance Administration (ASES) and of the lobbyists hired by the Rossello Nevares administration, as well as the disclosure of the contents of the governor's talks with his team of associates through a chat, have revealed the corrupt character that surrounds the government of Puerto Rico,” the movement said. 

On Wednesday, a pair of ex-senior administration officials were arrested and charged with fraud, allegedly for abusing federal work contracts from the Department of Education. Another case was made against an official from the Health Insurance Administration (ASES). According to reports, the three corruption cases amount to US$15.5 million.

Rafael Bernabe, the spokesperson for the movement told teleSUR that they were in front of the governor’s residence Saturday night, demanding his resignation and that they have also called for a teachers’ march Sunday and Monday. 

“Polls say 85% ask for resignation. The party says almost all have left. Even the bourgeois press asks him to resign. I do not know if today but soon. First, he has to appoint a secretary of state who is the one who assumes when the governor is missing. The current secretary resigned yesterday,” Bernabe told teleSUR.  

Two of Rossello’s top officials resigned Saturday after an 889-page document, published by the non-profit journalism group Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, revealed how the governor, along with other high-ranking officials manipulated public opinion of the administration through mass media, creating a “troll network” to discredit negative press coverage and criticism from opposition leaders.

The team sent messages through Telegram between late 2018 until January 20 of this year that included sexual, misogynistic and homophobic comments from Rossello and other members of the chat group. 

Two of the 12-member group chat - Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin and Christian Sobrino, the island’s chief financial officer and Rossello’s representative on Puerto Rico’s federally created fiscal oversight board - left the government following the revelation. 

“Our country does not deserve kidnapping at the hands of a government that has lost the little credibility it had. We can not forget that this government won with only 42 percent of the votes of the electorate,” said the Victoria movement declaration. 

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