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Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting in Puerto Rico. Will this solve the island’s problems?
Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Puerto Rico Monday to demand the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, whose profane private messages mocking women, people with disabilities, and victims of Hurricane Maria were leaked to the public and triggered a spontaneous eruption of protests across the U.S. territory.
Rosselló announced Sunday that he will not step down from the governorship, saying in a Facebook Live video that “all of my time must be dedicated to the responsibilities that I took on as governor.”
But even if he did step down, Rosselló’s resignation won’t solve Puerto Rico’s problems, says Amílcar Barreto, a professor of cultures, societies, and global studies at Northeastern who studies politics in Puerto Rico. He says the challenges presented by Hurricane Maria, rampant corruption among top leaders in the government, and the ongoing financial crisis in Puerto Rico have created a dire situation in the U.S. territory that will eventually lead hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans to leave for the mainland.