Starling of the Month - July 2019
The month of July was one of radical change in Puerto Rico which saw three different governors in the span of a week.
The people of Puerto Rico have had to endure as of late. Almost two years removed from the strongest hurricane to hit the island in nearly a century, the people have found themselves in the middle of government controversy. The Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico accessed the private messages of Governor Ricardo Rosselló in his communications on the messaging service Telegram. In the messages, which were in a group chat involving other high-ranking government officials, Rosselló attacked politicians and celebrities with various vulgarities including San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, singer Ricky Martin, and former New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Regardless, it is a scenario in which the people will continue to endure. During the protests on the island, thousands took to the streets, blocking major highways and disrupting travel on the island. A uniting of the entire island occurred bringing everyday civilians together with the likes of celebrities and other high profile citizens. Rapper Bad Bunny departed from his European tour to take to the streets. Singer Ricky Martin joined in with the crowds of protesters with signs that read "Ricky Renuncia" or Ricky Resign.
Rosselló's messages sent the public over the edge. All of this came off of the back of his already low approval due to investigations of corruption. Rosselló resisted the public outrage. Protests persisted for several days and although originally holding tight to sticking out his the rest of his term, Rosselló announced he would resign on August 2. His final act, however, came to be appointing Pedro Pierluisi as his successor. He was subsequently sworn in as governor on August 2.
The demonstrations, however, did not stop there. Pierluisi's appointment was viewed as illegitimate, and the change was continually contested by the public. Pierluisi was soon removed from office by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court and the acting secretary of state was sworn in in his place. All of this taking place over a span of 6 days.
The story may continue from this point as well. As Vasquez' experience in office is called into question, and her track record in the department of women's affairs and as secretary of justice is scrutinized.
See what Twitter had to say about Puerto Rico below: