Reuters SAN JUAN (Reuters) — Police in San Juan fired tear gas on Monday night to disperse thousands of protestors demanding Puerto Rico’s govenor resign over offensive chat messages, the latest scandal to hit a bankrupt island struggling to recover from 2017 hurricanes.
Police moved in at around 11 p.m. to break up protestors still on the streets of San Juan’s old city following day-long demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of residents, according to tweets and videos from the scene.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Sunday said he would not seek re-election next year and would step down as head of the New Progressive Party but the concessions failed to appease demonstrators, who called for him to immediately surrender the governorship.
The island’s largest newspaper called on the first-term governor to leave office and reported over 500,000 protesters took to the streets of San Juan.
U.S. President Donald Trump also blasted the 40-year-old governor, who is affiliated with the U.S. Democratic Party.
“He’s a terrible governor,” Trump said at the White House on Monday, after feuding with Rossello in 2017 over the speed and scale of the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
“You have totally grossly incompetent leadership at the top of Puerto Rico,” he said.
In San Juan, demonstrators dressed in black T-shirts filled the city’s largest highway and marched in the pouring rain with celebrities like Ricky Martin and Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee in the 10th day of sometimes violent protests.