Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló has announced he will resign after a homophobia and sexism scandal and a week of mass protests.
The protests erupted in the US territory after the leak of a group chat between Rosselló and 11 other colleagues. The Centre for Investigative Journalism have released almost 900 pages of the leaked messages from encrypted app Telegram.
As well as sexist slurs and obscene and violent comments, the leaked messages contained homophobic slurs against Latin superstar Ricky Martin and others.
Rosselló, who had resisted calls to step down, said he would resign on August 2.
“I feel that to continue in this position would make it difficult for the success that I have achieved to endure,” he said.
In the messages, Rosselló also attacked other perceived enemies as “c***suckers” and called a female New York councillor a “whore”.
Christian Sobrino, former chief financial officer, wrote about Ricky Martin: “Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin.
“Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f***s men because women don’t measure up. Pure patriarchy.”
In another message Roselló also made a joke about the number of bodies in the aftermath of deadly Hurricane Maria.
Protesters also suspect the Rosselló administration of corruptly misusing funds allocated for relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.
Ricky Martin joined the protests
Ricky Martin joined protests and called for the resignation of the administration officials.
“They made fun of our bodies, they mocked women, the LGBT community, people with physical and mental disabilities, they made fun of obesity… Enough,” Martin said.
Two other officials had earlier bowed to pressure from the protestors and resigned, but Ricardo Rosselló remained defiant.
Last month Rosselló backed down on a ‘religious freedoms’ bill after Ricky Martin intervened with an open letter opposing it.
“While the world calls for equality, respect for diversity and the defence of human rights, the Senate, House of Representatives and Governor of Puerto Rico are pushing for a measure that goes against all of the above,” Martin wrote.
Ricky Martin also said the bill undermined constitutional protections against discrimination.
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