Washington DC - Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló resigned Wednesday. Protests engulfed the island for nearly two weeks after Rosselló drew criticism for offensive language in leaked communications and the FBI arrested former members of his administration on corruption charges.
"The people of Puerto Rico reached a boiling point in recent weeks. People were in the streets about much more than the Governor's inappropriate language,” stated Eric LeCompte, the head of Jubilee USA, which works on Puerto Rico corruption, disaster aid and debt relief policies. "Puerto Ricans marched because they are tired of corruption, because 6 out of 10 kids live in poverty, because of hundreds of shuttered schools, an enormous debt crisis, and months of waiting for promised hurricane disaster aid to arrive.”
In 2016 the US Congress passed emergency Puerto Rico debt crisis legislation for the US Territory which stopped paying $72 billion in debt. The child poverty rate is nearly 60 percent and in 2017 the island was devasted by two hurricanes.
"Rosselló's resignation is not enough to answer Puerto Rico's endemic corruption, high poverty levels, the economic crisis or being forgotten after hurricanes ravaged the island,” LeCompte stated. “Puerto Rico needs serious debt relief, sufficient disaster aid, strong public budget transparency laws and economic investments in growth, not more austerity policies."