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Puerto Rican gov resigns after scandalous leaked chat messages and corruption probes

Governor Ricardo Antonio Rossello Nevares is seen during a meeting with mayors from his party inside the Yolanda Guerrero Cultural center in Guaynabo. The meeting was closed to the media as he entered through a side door heavily guarded on Sunday, July 21, 2019. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS)
July 25, 2019

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has resigned after mass protests calling for him to step down amid corruption scandals and highly offensive secret chat group messages.

Rosselló has been wrapped in controversy after two of his top aides resigned over federal charges of money laundering, theft and wire fraud. There was also a huge leak of chat messages from the Telegram app between the governor and top officials that contained misogynistic, homophobic jokes making fun of Hurricane Maria victims, celebrities, islanders and others.

Rosselló had since said he would not seek re-election in 2020 but had vowed to remain in office. His last day will now be Aug. 2.

He announced his resignation in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, which has more than 1.3 million views as of press time.

“What I wish most is peace and progress for my people,” he says in the video.

His chief of staff, Ricardo Llerandi Cruz, had recently submitted his resignation letter, saying, “The last few days have been extremely difficult for everyone. At this historical juncture it is up to me to take the welfare of my family into consideration. The threats we’ve received can be tolerated as an individual, but I will never allow them to affect my home.”

Protestors are absolutely fed up with the corruption, the island’s debt, increasing poverty and lack of recovery since the 2017 hurricane disaster, CNN noted.

The leaked chat messages were what seemingly pushed the protests to the next level.

“I am fed up with the thieving government. I am fed up with corruption. I am fed up with lack of integrity,” Maristella Gross told CNN on Monday during a protest.

Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez was expected to take Rosselló’s place, CNN reported.