After weeks of mostly peaceful protests, the people of Puerto Rico now have a new governor, Pedro Pierluisi. The former governor, Ricardo Rosselló resigned last Friday, an action he took only after weeks of refusing to step down, despite the demands made by the protestors.
Protestors were frustrated with Rosselló’s handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and angered by a leaked chat which was full of obscenities, misogynistic, racist and homophobic statements, in addition to insensitive remarks about hurricane victims.
Rosselló’s successor, Pierluisi is a veteran politician, who served as Puerto Rico’s non-voting congressional representative from 2009 until 2017. He also ran against Rosselló in the 2016 primaries but lost. He was justive secretary under Rosselló’s father, Pedro Rosselló, during his term as governor.
Despite the successful ousting of Rosselló, protestors continue to be disappointed with his replacement. A protest march, complete with banging drums, pots and pans, made its way to the governor’s residence, singing the national anthem. They were decrying the process which brought Pierluisi to power and his connections to the federal control board that recommended financial cutbacks for Puerto Rico.
As one protestor explained:
“It’s obvious that the constitutional setup that we have isn’t working for the people,” he said. “None of the options is one the people chose or want or deserve.”