Singer and actor Ricky Martin today joined street protests in Puerto Rico against the incumbent administration. Police yesterday used water cannon and tear gas during an attempt by thousands of protestors to storm Governor Riccardo Rosselló’s residence.
The protests erupted over the leak of a group chat between Rosselló and his 11 closest political allies. The messages contained homophobic slurs against Ricky Martin and others.
Protestors also suspect the Rosselló administration of corruptly misusing funds allocated for relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.
The leak of 889 pages of chat from the encrypted messaging app Telegram include homophobic slurs against Ricky Martin and other entertainers and politicians.
“Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin,” wrote Christian Sobrino, former chief financial officer.
“Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f***s men because women don’t measure up. Pure patriarchy.”
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) July 17, 2019
The officials also attacked other perceived enemies as ‘c***suckers’.
Ricky Martin called for the resignation of the administration officials.
“They made fun of our bodies, they mocked women, the LGBTT community, people with physical and mental disabilities, they made fun of obesity… Enough.”
All members of the chat group, still in the administration, bowed to pressure from the protestors and resigned, with the exception of Rosselló.
The encrypted chats also took aim at the Puerta Rican production of Hamilton organised by Lin-Manuel Miranda which raised $15 million for reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Maria.
The Hamilton star joined a protest by the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York. He tweeted he would return to Puerto Rico soon to also take part in protests there.
Puerto Rican Reggaeton star, Bad Bunny, renowned for his advocacy of queer people and gender variance, immediately cancelled his European tour and flew home to join the protests.
“I live in Puerto Rico, my family lives in Puerto Rico, my friends.
“What happens in Puerto Rico matters to me. …I’ll live in Puerto Rico until the day I die.”
Benicio del Toro
“I’m here in support of the people of Puerto Rico,” said Academy award-winning Benicio del Toro who also joined the protest.
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…
“It encourages division, prejudice, hatred and the lack of respect for individuality.
Further, Ricky Martin said the bill undermined constitutional protections against discrimination.
“And in its place, justifies an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.
“House Bill 2069… achieve[s] nothing more than opening the doors to hatred towards anyone who doesn’t share the same ideology, who simply belong to the LGBTT community, or who don’t have the same colour skin, amidst many other discriminatory measures.”
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