• Demonstrators protest Puerto Rico governor at Lake Eola

    By: Jason Kelly , Ken Tyndall

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - A demonstration against Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was held Monday evening at Lake Eola Park.

    Hundreds of Puerto Ricans gathered at Lake Eola at 7 p.m. for the event that was organized through Facebook.

    "We manifest ourselves in solidarity with our family in Puerto Rico," the event said in Spanish. "Ricardo Rosselló refuses to obey the mandate of the Puerto Rican nation. The people, united as ever, asks you to resign."

    Demonstrators made their voices heard lound and clear.

    "We are a passionate island," said Lucelis Torres. "We will fight for our rights, we will fight for our dignity, for our respect. And that's one thing that he didn't do."


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    Thousands of Puerto Ricans have protested in the island's capital city, San Juan, demanding Rosselló's resignation over an obscenity laced online chat he had with allies, which was leaked July 13, and over federal corruption charges leveled against his administration.

    The 889 pages of chat on the encrypted app Telegram between the governor and 11 close allies and members of his administration, all men, showed the governor and his advisers insulting women and mocking constituents, including Hurricane Maria victims.

    Rosselló said Sunday evening in a Facebook video that he will not resign and that he seeks to calm the unrest by promising to not seek re-election or to continue as the head of his pro-statehood political party.

    "I hear you," he said in the video. "I have made mistakes, and I have apologized."

    Rosselló said he will defend himself against the process of impeachment, the initial stages of which are being explored by Puerto Rico's legislature.

    The announcement further angered his critics, who have mounted street demonstrations for more than a week.

    Read: Puerto Ricans gather for massive protest to expel governor

    The upheaval comes as the U.S. territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria and tries to restructure part of $70 billion in debt amid a 13-year recession.

    Musical stars Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny and Residente and a string of U.S. politicians have pressed for Rosselló's resignation.

    He was elected governor in November 2016 with almost 50 percent of the vote and had already announced his intention to seek a second term.

    Rosselló graduated from MIT with a doctorate in genetics and is the son of former Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Rosselló.

    The upheaval prompted at least four cruise ships to cancel visits to the island.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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