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Puerto Rico's governor resigns after days of protests over his conduct online

The island territory has been beset by resignations and accusations of corruption this year

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, has resigned after protests following leaked chats where he used sexist and obscene terms to refer to other government officials.

What's the background?

Leaked private chats between Rosselló and other Puerto Rican officials caused outrage.

In one example, Rosselló's chief financial officer told Rosselló that he was "dying to shoot her [San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz] up."

Rosselló said "You'd be doing me a big favor." He called another female politician a "whore" in Spanish.

Additional chats included obscenities directed at other members of the territory's government.

He apologized after the chats were made public, but that didn't satisfy the protesters who marched in the capital city of San Juan every day.

What happened now?

Rosselló made the announcement in a video posted on Facebook.

"My only North Star has been the well-being of my island," he said in Spanish, according to a translation reported by NBC News. He also said "[w]hat I wish most is peace and progress for my people."

Rosselló's resignation will become effective on Aug. 2.

Protesters cheered when they heard the news.

Until the next election, Puerto Rico's Justice Secretary, Wanda Vázquez, will take over the duties of president. However, Vázquez is also not favored by the protesters. As soon as Rosselló resigned, the hashtag #WandaRenuncia (in English #WandaResign) began trending.

Rosselló isn't the first Puerto Rican official to resign this year

In June, Rosselló asked his Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado to resign. This happened after Maldonado had gone on a local radio station and talked about the existence of what he called an "institutional mafia" in the Puerto Rican government. He claimed to have been offered bribes on multiple occasions.

The very next day, Puerto Rico Chief of Staff Ricardo Llerandi accepted the resignation of the man in charge of Puerto Rico's Health Insurance Administration.

Two days after this, the FBI announced it was investigating accusations of favoritism and corruption in the Puerto Rican government.

The person who should have been next in line for the governorship after Rosselló, Secretary of State Luis G. Rivera Marín, resigned on July 13.

One last thing…
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