Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, is facing a severe political crisis that is putting his administration in check.
The serious situation has caused since last Saturday the resignation of the Secretary of State, Luis Rivera, and the representative of the Executive to the Board of Fiscal Oversight, Christian Sobrino.
In addition there have been several street demonstrations against Rosselló, whose resignation has been requested by both political opponents such as the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, and by Puerto Rican artists such as Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, Residente or Ednita Nazario.
All this uproar has been motivated by the Saturday spread of nearly 900 pages of a private chat on the social network Telegram, in which Roselló and senior members of his government share taunts, homophobic, sexist and misogynistic comments.
The 889 pages of the controversial chat were revealed by the Center for Investigative Journalism, which received the full document from an anonymous source.
Messages begin in December 2018 and arrive until the end of January 2019.
They show how Rosselló and his closest advisers exchanged memes, derogatory comments, as well as jokes about journalists, politicians and activists.
The Puerto Rican representative, who has already apologized for what happened, says he has no plans to resign.
But what do these messages say and why are they so controversial?
On chat pages, Roselló and his close collaborators use foul and dengrantered language.
They use expressions like «p… «HP» to refer to policy adversaries. Sometimes, they also use the expression «kitten» with the same meaning.
The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, announced actions against Rosselló.
So, about a tweet posted by New York’s former Melissa Mark-Viverito criticizing the stance of Tom Perez, president of the Democratic Party of the United States, Rosselló said that «our people must go out and defend Tom and fall on this p… a.»
In another message, the Puerto Rican governor refers to the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, and says: «The comandanta stopped taking her medications? It’s either that or it’s tremendous HP.»
Rosselló also uses strong language to refer to Senator Eduardo Bathia, of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PPD), about whom he comments: «mamabicho of historical levels».
In Puerto Rico, the term «bug» is used vulgarly to refer to the penis, so a «mamabicho» would be a man who practices oral sex with other men.
Bathia is also teased by other chat members. In a message of December 6, 2018, publicists Edwin Miranda and Carlos Bermudez made denigrating comments about it.
«20 years ago and 200 pounds ago,» Bermudez said in front of the photo, to which Miranda added: «And seven males less?… forgiveness.»
«Inappropriate, Edwin, » replies Bermudez.
On December 7, 2018, Bermudez also published a photograph of an activist of a feminist collective, wearing a T-shirt that read: «antipatriarchal, feminist, lesbian, trans, Caribbean, Latin American».
Rosselló, then, remarked, «That has to be some kind of record, right?»
Even members of Rosselló’s same political background, the New Progressive Party, received derogatory comments.
This was the case, for example, of Senator Evelyn Vazquez, who before dedicating herself to politics participated in several beauty contests.
During a chat conversation about the Miss Universe pageant, Elías Sánchez, a former government representative to the Fiscal Control Board, asked which contest Vazquez had participated in, to which Miranda replied: «The Black Angus closed it in 1996 «, in reference to a brothel that worked in San Juan.
Singer Ricky Martin was also the subject of heavy attacks.
«Ricky Martin is so sexist that he fucks men because women don’t fit up. Pure patriarchy,» Christian Sobrino wrote in a message from January 2.
«It is completely repudiable and denotes the intolerant, arrogant, overpotent, homophobic, sexist and violent character and personality of each,» the artist replied in a series of messages calling for roselló’s resignation, whom he accused of not complying with the government he had promised.
«We cannot allow our Puerto Rico to be in the hands of such ‘leaders,'» he added.