News Alerts

07 Aug 2019 | 05:58 PM UTC

US: Court rules Puerto Rico governor unlawfully appointed August 7 /update 14

Puerto Rico News Alert

Anti-government protests possible after Puerto Rico Supreme Court rules new governor was unlawfully sworn in August 7; heightened security presence and transportation disruptions expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/7/2019, 12:00 AM until 8/11/2019, 11:59 PM (America/Puerto_Rico). COUNTRY/REGION San Juan (Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico

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Protests are possible in San Juan and other urban centers following the Puerto Rico Supreme Court's decision on Wednesday, August 7, that the new governor, Pedro Pierluisi, was unconstitutionally sworn in on August 2. The court ruling reversing Pierluisi's appointment as governor will take effect at 17:00 (local time) on August 7, at which time Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez will be sworn in. Vázquez, who previously declined the governorship, has indicated that she will accept the appointment "to guarantee an orderly succession." 

Heightened security measures and transportation disruptions are to be expected near all associated protests over the coming hours and days. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.


Protests demanding the resignation of now-former Governor Ricardo Rosselló and other members of his government have been held throughout Puerto Rico since July 13. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also implicated members of Rosselló's cabinet in fraud, conspiracy, and other corruption-related investigations. The latest protests were called following a scandal involving hundreds of pages of leaked texts between Rosselló and his cabinet members containing misogynistic and homophobic language. Rosselló refused to resign until July 24, when he stated he would leave office on August 2. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia was named Secretary of State on July 31 by Rosselló and was confirmed as the island's next governor on August 2. 


Individuals in San Juan, and Puerto Rico more generally, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.


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