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Puerto Rico’s Uprising in Photos

Erin Sheridan Jul 26

The central demand of protesters in Puerto Rico, who for weeks have taken to the streets calling on the island’s governor to resign, was met late Wednesday night, when Ricardo Rosselló announced he would leave office by Aug. 2. Many observers thought islanders had become so accustomed to corruption among the political class that the scandal, sparked by the leak of online chat logs between Rosselló and his supporters, would blow over. 

That was not the case. The divulgence of the misogynistic and homophobic messages, in which Rosselló and colleagues mocked rivals and ordinary Puerto Ricans all while apparently pillaging public coffers, proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Former-Indypendent reporter Erin Sheridan, who now runs the Puerto Rican documentary project “People Live Here,” was on the streets for the uprising, which comes amid a continuing debt crisis and drawn-out efforts to rebuild following 2017’s Hurricane Maria. She sends us these photographs. 

Meanwhile, attention has turned to Rosselló’s expected replacement, Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez. Vázquez, the island’s chief law enforcement officer, is accused of interfering in corruption investigations involving hurricane relief and her political allies. Protesters calling for her to resign as well. 

You’ll find The Indy’s past coverage of Puerto Rico at the bottom of this article. 

A woman on her way to join a mass march on San Juan’s Autopista Luis A. Ferré, a major toll road shut down by demonstrators on July 22 during amid a national strike. 

 

This sign, designed by the street theater collective Papel Machete, reads, “We are not afraid.” 

 

A man stands with a gas mask and a bandana tied around his neck to cover his face for protection against tear gas. Civil rights leaders are calling for an investigation into the use of force by police on demonstrators.

 

Police guard the capital building in Old San Juan, where over 500,000 demonstrators gathered to march to La Fortaleza, the governor’s official residence, on July 17.

 

Members of Papel Machete marching in the streets. The sign on the left tells the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, “La Junta,” to go to hell.

 

Signs reading “Ricky Resign,” are pasted on the walls in Old San Juan.

 

Demonstrators took over roads and highways on Monday, grinding commerce on the island to a near halt.

All photos by Erin Sheridan. More here.