The tense confrontations marked an escalation of the dramatic political crisis that began in Puerto Rico after hundreds of pages of a private chat on the messaging app Telegram between Mr. Rosselló and some of his closest aides were leaked on Saturday, revealing a slew of crude and inappropriate exchanges.
The leak, coming on the heels of high-profile federal corruption arrests last week, unleashed months of pent-up frustration over Mr. Rosselló’s handling of Hurricane Maria, his education policies and the federal oversight board that controls Puerto Rico’s troubled finances.
“The chat was the final straw,” said Norma Jean Colberg, 58, one of the protesters.
The FBI has arrested two former Puerto Rico officials for funneling disaster aid payments to politically connected contractors.
The Wednesday arrests have prompted concern on Capitol Hill that the island’s corruption will blunt the effectiveness of a recently passed disaster aid bill. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., has called for Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation, according to the Washington Post.
The FBI indictment charges Puerto Rico’s former Education Secretary Julia Keleher, former Health Insurance Agency Chief Ángela Ávila-Marrero, and four others with crimes related to grifting U.S. disaster aid. Keleher and Ávila-Marrero both served in Rosselló’s administration before leaving in April and June, respectively.