A Timeline Of Events Surrounding the Puerto Rico Governor’s Downfall


During the past weeks, the political situation in Puerto Rico has been one of the most controversial in its history. Governor Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign from his post after leaking a chat of almost 900 pages that showcased strategies in efforts to manipulate different situations from late 2018 to January 2019.

Roselló's last day was on Aug. 2. The country then underwent a long process, culminating with the appointment of Wanda Vázquez, the former secretary of justice, as the second ruling woman.

The Puerto Rican constitution states that if the governor in charge resigns and there is no secretary of state (which was the case), the next person to take lead is the secretary of justice.

But first, the situation had Puerto Ricans — including artists such as Bad Bunny, Ricky Martin and Residente — protesting for more than 10 days, demanding Rosselló's resignation. Martin in particular was directly affected by the leaked chat, because one of the officials offended him with homophobic messages.

Below, see a timeline of all the events that occured.

July 8: A small segment of the chat is leaked and spread by local press.

July 11: Ricardo Rosselló returns to Puerto Rico; he was vacationing in France at the time.

July 12: The full 889-page copy of the conversations is published, protests begin.

July 13: Ricky Martin reacts on Twitter and asks governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign: “Governor. your insults show us who you really are.”

July 13-14: Bad Bunny, Residente and more local artists also ask Rosselló to resign.

July 15: Governor Roselló agrees to a radio interview with the local station Z93 FM, and reaffirms that he will not resign from the government or the presidency of the Partido Nuevo Progresista (New Progressive Party).

July 17: Bad Bunny, Residente and Ricky Martin lead major protest in front of the capital. 

July 21: Ricardo Roselló broadcasts a national message confirming that he will not run as a candidate for governance in the 2020 elections. He resigns as president of the New Progressive Party, but announces that he will still be in charge as the current governor.

July 22: The national strike takes place.

July 26: Ricardo Rosselló resigns, effective Aug. 2.

July 31: Rosselló nominates Pedro Pierluisi to the position of Secretary of State, with the intention of having him succeed the office of Governor of Puerto Rico. Another 100 pages of the chat are leaked.

August 2: PIerluisi is confirmed as Secretary of State and swears as a new governor under Ley 7-2005 (Law 7) without approval of the Senate. The move is considered unconstitutional.

August 7: Supreme Court of Puerto Rico unanimously decides the case of Senate of Puerto Rico vs. Pedro R. Pierluisi, and concludes that the oath of office was unconstitutional. Wanda Vazquez accepts her position and swears as the second woman governor of Puerto Rico.