An SMS scandal with Rosselló triggered massive protests against the US government for nearly two weeks after years of alleged corruption, a debt crisis and Hurricane Maria. The following events led to his resignation:
Two former officials from Puerto Rico, the island's education ministry and head of health insurance administration, were arrested on corruption charges. They were accused of having directed million-euro government contracts to politically-linked contractors.
. 11 July
Following the arrests, the governor returned home from a previously-planned family vacation outside US territory. Only a handful of messages from a private telegram chat have been leaked to his inner circle. He apologized for referring to a former New York official who described these messages in detail.
More Leaked Chats, Unrest
Two Cabinet members who participated in the chats, Puerto Rico's former Chief Financial Officer Sobrino Vega and Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin, resigned.
Before Rosselló's official residence, known as La Fortaleza, protests increased after the leaked texts had been published. The demonstrators called Rosselló to resign.
Police fired tear gas into the crowd of demonstrators calling for his fall.
Governor apologizes but does not resign
"I will continue my work and responsibilities to the people of Puerto Rico," the governor told reporters.
Celebrities join in protests
Puerto Rico's Ministry of Justice issued summonses for all who involved in the private chat group with Rosselló.
Once again, the officials used tear gas to push back the demonstrators during a fierce battle outside the governor's house.
Rosselló tweeted a statement declaring that he respected people's right to protest and that their actions had "not gone unnoticed". He also asked for forgiveness from the Puerto Rican people.
Rosselló announced that he will not run for reelection in 2020 and resigned from his role as president of the New Progressive Party.
] "A lot of the population is unhappy and I recognize it," said Rosselló on Facebook Live. "I have heard you, I love the island and the people … Today I have the responsibility to direct my energies to seek alternatives so that we can progress with God."
There were protests for about a week, but protesters said they would not rest until Rosselló resigned. They included many generations and political inclinations. They said they would not resign because they endured political corruption, high poverty rates, debt shortages and a painful recovery since Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Rosselló's chief of staff submitted his resignation effective July 31, according to a letter received from CNN.
Reports that the governor wanted to resign to the next day appeared on July 24
banners all day long.
Around midnight, Rosselló announced his resignation – effective August 2 – in a message posted on social media. The governor is two and a half years in his four-year term.