Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, resigned from office effective August 2. His resignation gives in to public protests regarding corruption allegations and distrust of the federal office to solve economic issues. Currently, 45% of citizens live below the poverty line in Puerto Rico.
Many of the problems the governor promised to address remain unresolved. Intelligence analyst for the Americas region, Anthony Tipping, commented in the Wall Street Journal about the underlying issues still at hand. “There is a lot of expectation, but change will be hard to come by. Puerto Rico still woke up today with a huge poverty rate. These underlying issues aren’t going away.”
The leak of nearly 900 pages of offensive messages between the governor and his inner circle sparked weeks of protests. Celebrations followed the announcement of his resignation on the night of July 24 outside the governor’s mansion in San Juan.
By the morning of July 25, most of the streets around the mansion had reopened to traffic, but protests continued in San Juan and caused transportation disruptions in Hato Rey. The article says, “Some protesters held signs demanding sweeping, systemic change.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is geared to restrict Puerto Rico’s access to relief funds. The article states, “Puerto Rico must receive approval from the agency to draw down all funds related to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, both of which hit in 2017. Puerto Rico’s Office of Government Ethics said it has asked its attorneys to determine whether the person poised to become the next governor committed ethical violations related to Hurricane Maria relief efforts.”
Learn more in the full article.
About Anthony Tipping
Anthony Tipping is a Regional Intelligence Analyst for the Americas. He holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MA from Emory University. His background is in political and economic history and Latin American studies, and he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He is originally from London, has lived in Bogotá and Moscow, and currently resides in Washington, D.C.