July 23, 2019

The chat log leak between Governor Ricardo Rosselló and his inner circle became the trigger point for increased protests in Puerto Rico. Full of allegedly crude and offensive comments, the chat sparked many Puerto Ricans to rally around a common cause: one that called for the governor’s resignation.

Though refusing to resign, under mounting pressure, the governor stepped down as the president of his party and promised not to run again in 2020. Rosselló may have thought his action would help squash the protests, but instead, it amplified them.

About 300k protesters claim the resignation of the governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Roselló in front of the Capitol.

Problems with Puerto Rico’s economy have been building for years: the government’s slow response post-Hurricane Maria, a controversial PROMESA (federal oversight board), the high poverty rate, and more. Anthony Tipping was interviewed by The Washington Post on how travelers can navigate these protests.

The streets of Puerto Rico are narrow, and the protests have been occurring in high tourism areas. This can lead to a heightened risk for pickpocketing. Anthony said, “If a sporadic protest does occur, leave the area immediately.” The article says Tipping also “cautioned that it’s not clear yet how long the demonstrations will last or how far they’ll spread.”

Currently, protests have caused localized disruptions. Though some protests have turned violent, Anthony said, “larger protests have been publicized well in advance, so travelers can seek that information out and plan to avoid the areas.” Travel safety may only be an issue if the protests increase to large-scale rallies.

Read the full article.


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