ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Puerto Ricans in Rochester are uniting in solidarity Wednesday with other Boricuas across the country and on the island, demanding justice for the people in Puerto Rico. They’re are calling for the embattled Governor Ricardo Rosselló to be ousted.
This comes after leaked chat room conversations between Rosselló and 11 others are laced with profane, homophobic, sexist comments and mocked victims of Hurricane Maria.
Last week the FBI arrested two of his former top officials on fraud charges. Rosselló’s administration has been under scrutiny for its spending of government funds after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017.
Local activists say they have lost confidence in the leaders.
“It speaks volumes to the level of arrogance that the governor has. There are Puerto Ricans who are displaced. In fact the building here houses the majority of the folks were displaced from Puerto Rico,” said Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons, rally organizer & activist.
“It’s embarrassing that we trust a leader and he just literally betrayed us as a country. and we deserve an explanation and we deserve respect, it’s about respect,” said Madeline Santana, activist. “We don’t want him there. It’s very insulting to our community to have a person that makes fun of us, instead of helping us.”
Meanwhile, after several violent protests in the last few days, Governor Rosselló said he will not step down.
“I am not proud of what I did. Those were merely comments they were hurtful comments. I apologize for what I’ve done. I need to move forward and continue doing the work for Puerto Rico.”
Shortly after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, more than 160,000 residents fled the island, to which 3,000 relocated to the greater Rochester area.
The peaceful protest is scheduled for 6pm at Don Samuel Torres Park 50 Oakman Street Rochester, NY.