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High-ranking Puerto Rican officials resign because of shameful talks



SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Governor of Puerto Rico – Ricardo Rosselló, announced on Saturday that his chief financial officer and Secretary of State will resign after participating in a private chat in which swear words describe a person Ex used – A New York City official and a federal agency oversee the island's finances.

The Chief Financial Officer of the US Territory, Christian Sobrino, who also acts as the governor's representative, announced his resignation on Twitter on Saturday. His Foreign Minister Luis G. Rivera Marín also announced his resignation.

Rosselló later issued a statement that he would release members of his administration who participated in the chat about a news system used by government officials. The publication of the contents of the chat in the local media had led to the resignation of the governor.

Rosselló apologized for the comments on late Thursday and said he had worked 18-hour days and reduced tension when he called the former New York Council spokeswoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Spanish word for "whore" and in English, the board called for "freeing oneself" followed by a series of emojis with raised middle fingers.

I have told all other officials involved in the chat that I have to give up their services and / or advice, "he said in the statement.

He urged Ricardo Llerandi to stay as Secretary of the Interior of Puerto Rico and Anthony Maceira as Secretary of State.

"This is a very painful situation for me as governor, as a human and as a Puerto Rican," said Rosselló. "But I realize that there is no other way out and there is no worthwhile forgiveness for me that does not include corrections and clear signs of intentional change."

The comments had aroused the anger of many Puerto Ricans who said they were ashamed of his language and how this could affect the image of the US territory, as early as this week's arrests former government official, including the island's education minister.

Rosselló said late Thursday that he did not do so. Not yet talking to Mark Viverito, who posted a long statement on Twitter, saying in part, "A person using this language against a woman whether a public figure or not, Puerto Rico should not dominate … this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable. "

In chat Rosselló wrote that he was angry. Mark Viverito had criticized Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, for supporting the statehood for Puerto Rico.

Puer Ricky Martin, who was mentioned in the chat with a homophobic comment, called on Rosselló to resign. Martin tweeted that the Governor "lacks the skills of a true leader who inspires, stimulates, and leads by example that our people are reaching a higher standard of living.

Rosselló, facing other problems, has announced he will not resign.

Days before, FBI agents arrested Julia Keleher, the former Minister of Education of Puerto Rico, and five other taxes for federal funds to unqualified, politically-related contractors.

Officials said alleged fraud related to US $ 15.5 million of federal funds spent between 2017 and 2019. They said $ 13 million had been spent by the Ministry of Education in Puerto Rico, while Keleher was a secretary, and Ángela Ávila Marrero spent another $ 2.5 million when she was director of health insurance in Puerto Rico. Ávila Marrero was charged with the businessmen Fernando Scherrer-Caillet and Alberto Velázquez-Piñol, as well as the sisters Glenda E. Ponce-Mendoza and Mayra Ponce-Mendoza. Marrero had personally benefited from the project.

On Thursday, a group of demonstrators gathered at Puerto Rico's main international airport to receive Rosselló as he canceled a European holiday to address the arrests and leaked conversations. The demonstrators then traveled to the villa by the Governor's Sea, where Rosselló spoke late Thursday and demanded his resignation.

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