Puerto Rico protesters demand governor’s resignation over disaster aid stash found amid recurring earthquakes
SAN JUAN – Dozens of demonstrators gathered Monday in front of the governor’s mansion in Puerto Rico’s capital to demand the resignation of the U.S. territory’s governor and protest the recent discovery of apparently forgotten disaster supplies amid ongoing earthquakes.
The scene reminded many of the beginning of protests that escalated over the summer and led to the resignation of former Gov. Ricardo Rossello, with demonstrators once again vowing to remain in the streets until current Gov. Wanda Vazquez steps down.
The protest came a day after Vazquez fired two more high-ranking officials in her administration, Housing Secretary Fernando Gil and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andujar, over the lack of information regarding aid collection and distribution centers. On Saturday, she fired former emergency management director Carlos Acevedo.
Vazquez said she had lost confidence in those officials after the discovery of a warehouse in the southern coastal city of Ponce that was filled with disaster supplies dating from when Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017 as a Category 4 storm.
She ordered an investigation into the incident and said those who broke into the warehouse to distribute supplies to people affected by a recent 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed one person and caused more than an estimated $200 million in damage would not be prosecuted.
The investigation was scheduled to be completed on Monday.