SAN JUAN (Reuters) – Two of Puerto Rico’s top government officials resigned on Saturday following the publication of a bombshell group chat in which Governor Ricardo Rossello and his closest allies exchanged controversial messages that have led to widespread calls for Rossello to also step down.
The political turmoil comes at a critical stage in the U.S. commonwealth’s historic bankruptcy and as its officials seek billions of dollars in funding from the federal government for healthcare and for recovery efforts following devastating hurricanes in 2017.
Indictment - Arrests - Wednesday - People - High-ranking
It also follows a 32-count federal indictment and arrests on Wednesday of six people, including two former high-ranking Puerto Rico government officials, who were charged with conspiracy and other crimes in connection with millions of dollars in federal Medicaid and education funds.
Two of the 12-member group chat – Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin and Christian Sobrino, the island’s chief financial officer and Rossello’s representative on Puerto Rico’s federally created fiscal oversight board – left the government following Saturday’s release by Puerto Rico journalist group Centro de Periodismo Investigativo of 889 pages of text messages.
Rosselló - Advisors - Officials - Relations - Operatives
They show how Rosselló and his closest advisors, including former and current public officials, public relations operatives and the governor’s former campaign manager, exchanged memes, derogatory, misogynistic and homophobic comments, as well as jokes about journalists, politicians and activists in a Telegram group chat. The messages further...
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