UPDATE, July 25: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announces his resignation in a Facebook video Wednesday night, NBC News reports. His resignation, which will go into effect on Aug. 2, comes after weeks of protests demanding accountability for the hundreds of offensive, vulgar text messages authored by the Governor that were leaked to the public.
“After the birth of my son, this is the happiest day of my life," said Puerto Rican rapper Residente, one of the many celebrities from the U.S. territory to join in the protests.
ORIGINAL: Ricky Martin joins protesters calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico’s governor following the leak of hundreds of damning, offensive text messages.
Earlier this month, nearly 900 messages were leaked from Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s group chats with other government officials. The leak, dubbed “Ricky Leaks” in the aftermath, exposed the governor for joking about the victims of Hurricane Maria, which killed at least 2,975 people in the U.S. territory, and about shooting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, Democracy Now! reports. Many of the texts also contained language that was misogynistic and homophobic, Billboard says.
Disgusted by Rosselló’s abhorrent behavior, many Puerto Ricans have begun to organize in opposition to his administration, participating in a national strike until the governor resigns. On Monday, hundreds of thousands of protesters — if not over a million, per NBC News’ estimate — gathered for the Marcha del Pueblo, calling en masse for Rosselló to step down.
A number of Puerto Rican musicians joined the demonstrators, using their celebrity to amplify their demands. They included Bad Bunny, Residente, Kany Garcia, and Ricky Martin — who climbed on top of a car at one point of the protest and waved a rainbow Pride flag.
“You are not only cynical, but you are also Machiavellian,” said Martin in an Instagram video posted Monday, per Billboard’s English translation. “The only thing you’ve done with that message is play with the mental health of the Puerto Ricans.”
After the leaks, Rosselló announced that he would not seek reelection in 2020. The governor did vow to serve the remainder of his term, but Reuters reports that he might change course and resign on Wednesday.