Extraordinary protests have swept Puerto Rico demanding the immediate resignation of Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico. The confrontations marked an escalation in the political crisis in Puerto Rico after hundreds of pages of a private chat between the Governor and his closest aids was leaked, revealing a slew of inappropriate exchanges laced with misogyny, homophobia and jokes about the dead from Hurricane Maria. This unleashed months of pent-up frustration over the Governor’s handling of Hurricane Maria, his education policies, and the federal oversight board that controls Puerto Rico’s finances. Many protesters are holding signs displaying “4,645”, referring to the number of people, who may have died after Hurricane Maria.
The following is a statement from 350.org’s U.S. National Organizer Amira Odeh, who is from Bayamón, Puerto Rico:
“Almost two years after Hurricane Maria, communities here on the island are still recovering, and yet the government has the audacity to joke about the lives of those lost, while doing nothing to ensure our long-term recovery. This is unacceptable and appalling, and as Puerto Ricans, we do not stand for this behavior. We stand against the lewd misogynistic, homophobic, sexist, and insensitive behavior by Governor Rosselló, his inner circles, and his Cabinet.
“With hurricane season already upon us, Puerto Ricans are reminded of the toll that the combined effects of colonialism, classism, corruption, environmental destruction and disaster capitalism have on our communities. We need leaders and new models of democratic governance that are dedicated to just hurricane recovery, access to health and education services, and to having our human rights and right to safety respected without hurtful austerity measures. We are rising up because we deserve better.”
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage, [email protected]