Puerto Rico's embattled Gov. Ricardo Rosselló won't seek reelection, but vows to stay in office

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez and David Begnaud

/ CBS News

Puerto Rico's beleaguered Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced on Sunday he will not seek reelection next year and will relinquish his role as the head of one of the main political parties on the island. He nevertheless vowed to stay in office for the remainder of his term, despite days of large-scale protests calling for his immediate resignation.

The 40-year-old governor, an ardent backer of Puerto Rican statehood, has been under increased scrutiny since a high-profile federal corruption probe led to the arrests of two of his former cabinet members and after the release of vulgar, sexist and inappropriate private messages sent in a chat by Rosselló and his top lieutenants.

"I recognize that apologizing is not sufficient," Rosselló said in a livestream on social media. "And only my work will help restore the trust of these sectors and embark on a real reconciliation."

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló CBS News

Although his decision to end his reelection bid in 2020 and resign from his position as president of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party might quell some concerns, it is unlikely to satisfy the spirited movement that has coalesced on the U.S. territory — home to approximately 3.2 million U.S. citizens — with the objective of ousting him from office and ushering reform to the island's government, which has faced allegations of corruption and mismanagement for years.

Trending News

For nine straight days and nights, thousands of protestors have mobilized to organize large-scale rallies, including several outside the governor's mansion in San Juan's colonial neighborhood. One massive, star-studded demonstration drew between 100,000 and 500,000 people. The movement — relying on creative forms of protests like demonstrations on horseback and yoga sessions designed to express dissent — has been calling for Rosselló's immediate resignation.

Thousands of Puerto Ricans are expected to block the main artery into the capital of San Juan on Monday morning. The planned demonstrations to halt traffic at the Luis A. Ferré highway has already prompted nearby commercial centers and businesses to close shop. Activists believe this will serve as a key moment in the political turmoil that has beset Puerto Rico for more than a week.

First published on July 21, 2019 / 6:31 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

pr4-rosello.jpg

Puerto Rico's embattled Gov. Rosselló won't seek reelection

"I recognize that apologizing is not sufficient," Rosselló said in a livestream on social media

20M ago

Miss Michigan Kathy Zhu stripped of title over racist tweets

The tweets targeted Muslim women and gun violence in the black community in 2017 and 2018

1H ago

Massive heat wave blamed for 6 deaths

Up to 200 million people could be affected from the central U.S. to the East Coast this weekend

2H ago

Shane Lowry wins 2019 British Open

Lowry closed with a 1-over 72 — the first time since 1996 the Open champion was over par in the final round

3H ago

Pence says moon, not Mars, remains near-term goal for NASA

In an interview on "The Takeout," Vice President Mike Pence reassured the space community with the administration's strong support for a "moon-first" policy

4H ago

Puerto Rico's embattled Gov. Rosselló won't seek reelection

"I recognize that apologizing is not sufficient," Rosselló said in a livestream on social media

20M ago

Pence says moon, not Mars, remains near-term goal for NASA

In an interview on "The Takeout," Vice President Mike Pence reassured the space community with the administration's strong support for a "moon-first" policy

4H ago

Schiff: Mueller will bring report "to life" during hearings

"We want the people to hear it directly from him, not filtered through Bill Barr," Schiff said on "Face the Nation"

4H ago

Cheney says Trump's attack on congresswomen "isn't about race"

"This isn't about race. It's not about gender. It's not about religion," the Wyoming Republican said on "Face the Nation"

5H ago

Pence: Trump "might make an effort" to stop "send her back" chants

The vice president nevertheless said "millions of Americans share the president's frustration" about four Democratic congresswomen

7H ago

Tainted alcohol suspected of killing at least 19 in Costa Rica

The government has confiscated about 30,000 bottles of alcohol suspected to be poisoned

1H ago

Shane Lowry wins 2019 British Open

Lowry closed with a 1-over 72 — the first time since 1996 the Open champion was over par in the final round

3H ago

North Carolina woman and Australian man found dead in Canada

New South Wales police posted on Facebook that Lucas Fowler was the son of Police Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler

22H ago

Crew heads to International Space Station on Apollo 11 anniversary

The Soyuz spacecraft completed a textbook rendezvous with the International Space Station on Saturday

22H ago

Trump offers to vouch for A$AP Rocky's bail in Sweden

The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has been in custody since early this month over an alleged fight

Jul 20

Hannah Gadsby: There is life after trauma

In her new touring show, the Australian writer, actress and comedian whose standup deftly intersects comedy and tragedy is even more revealing

8H ago

Hannah Gadsby on comedy and tragedy

Luke Burbank profiles Australian writer, actress and standup comedian Hannah Gadsby, whose recent Netflix special, "Hannah Gadsby: Nanette," about the intersection of comedy and tragedy, earned her a Peabody Award, and whose latest show, "Douglas," is even more revealing.

7H ago 07:18

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Jun 24 33 photos

ZZ Top: After 50 years they've still got legs

Half a century later, the bluesy country rock band is still working hard to make it all look and sound so easy

9H ago

ZZ Top is "Goin' 50"

The band ZZ Top is marking 50 years together, with a new remastered collection of their greatest hits, "Goin' 50." Jim Axlerod talks with guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard (the one without a beard) who are still working hard to make their pedal-to-the-metal, bluesy country rock seem so easy.

8H ago 07:12

Extended transcript: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on putting boots on the moon and Mars

The founder and CEO of SpaceX discusses the aerospace company's ambitions for flying humans to the moon and Mars, the importance of reusable in rockets, and the inspiration of Douglas Adams

8H ago

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on the next giant leap for mankind

The aerospace entrepreneur says we are only a few years away from employing reusable rockets to bring people to the moon and Mars, making humans a "multi-planet species"

8H ago

Mike Pence says U.S. will first go to the moon, then Mars

"That's the policy that the President's put into motion since reestablishing the national space council," Pence said

Jul 20

Crew heads to International Space Station on Apollo 11 anniversary

The Soyuz spacecraft completed a textbook rendezvous with the International Space Station on Saturday

22H ago

Doorbell cams raise privacy fears and concerns about bias

Critics say Amazon's Ring appears to stir up fears of crime even as rates are falling. Others say the cams

Jul 19

Pence says moon, not Mars, remains near-term goal for NASA

In an interview on "The Takeout," Vice President Mike Pence reassured the space community with the administration's strong support for a "moon-first" policy

4H ago

Extended transcript: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on putting boots on the moon and Mars

The founder and CEO of SpaceX discusses the aerospace company's ambitions for flying humans to the moon and Mars, the importance of reusable in rockets, and the inspiration of Douglas Adams

8H ago

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on the next giant leap for mankind

The aerospace entrepreneur says we are only a few years away from employing reusable rockets to bring people to the moon and Mars, making humans a "multi-planet species"

8H ago

On the brink: The Endangered Species Act

The 1973 law has helped prevent hundreds of species from going extinct, and recovered 54 species. But changes proposed by the Trump administration may weaken its ability to protect wildlife and habitat

9H ago

Watch: CBS coverage of Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 years ago today

More than half a billion people tuned in to see Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take man's first steps on the moon. Watch how it all unfolded

Jul 20

Tainted alcohol suspected of killing at least 19 in Costa Rica

The government has confiscated about 30,000 bottles of alcohol suspected to be poisoned

1H ago

How to combat heat-related sickness

Chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook joined "CBS Weekend News" to discuss how to stay ahead of the symptoms that contributed to the deaths of at least six people

23H ago

Know the signs of heat stroke before it's too late

Record-breaking temperatures are expected in at least 14 different states by this weekend

Jul 20

After 7 kids get cancer, chemical in city's water scrutinized

Ripon, California, is just one of dozens of cities across the country dealing with the possibly harmful chemical

Jul 19

Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a global health emergency

The virus spread this week to a city of two million people

Jul 18

"Corporate astronaut": How billionaires are joining the space race

Six hundred people have already paid Virgin Galactic $250,000 for a ticket to space

Jul 20

The philosophy behind charcuterie restaurant Cured

Upon entering the restaurant, diners are greeted by a massive humidity-controlled meat locker known as the "Charc Tank"

Jul 20

Ragu recalls pasta sauce over possible plastic contamination

Five types of the pasta sauce are being recalled nationwide, including at retailers such as Walmart

Jul 20

Record-high temperatures could scorch U.S. economy

Climate change has the potential to sap the U.S. economy more than tariffs or other man-made threats

Jul 19

Why Trump's pick to head Labor Dept scares worker advocates

As a lawyer, the son of the late Supreme Court judge fought against laws constraining big corporations

Jul 19

Was an Ivy League student slain in the name of hate?

The stabbing death of a bright college student raises troubling questions concerning anti-Semitism and homophobia — issues that are at the heart of the nation's current struggle to define itself

19H ago

Former boxer marked for murder fakes death in undercover sting

"I'm the only person alive that has ever walked out of his own grave" murder-for-hire target tells "48 Hours"

20H ago

North Carolina woman and Australian man found dead in Canada

New South Wales police posted on Facebook that Lucas Fowler was the son of Police Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler

22H ago

Thousands of bone fragments found at Vatican

The Vatican is filled with centuries of art, history and apparently bones. That revelation came during a search for a missing 15-year-old girl who vanished decades ago. Seth Doane reports.

23H ago 02:12

Prisoners released under First Step Act

More than 3,000 people have been released from prison or halfway houses across the country under the First Step Act. It was signed by the president last year. Mola Lenghi reports.

Jul 19 01:45

Pence says moon, not Mars, remains near-term goal for NASA

In an interview on "The Takeout," Vice President Mike Pence reassured the space community with the administration's strong support for a "moon-first" policy

4H ago

Extended transcript: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on putting boots on the moon and Mars

The founder and CEO of SpaceX discusses the aerospace company's ambitions for flying humans to the moon and Mars, the importance of reusable in rockets, and the inspiration of Douglas Adams

8H ago

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on the next giant leap for mankind

The aerospace entrepreneur says we are only a few years away from employing reusable rockets to bring people to the moon and Mars, making humans a "multi-planet species"

8H ago

Watch: CBS coverage of Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 years ago today

More than half a billion people tuned in to see Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take man's first steps on the moon. Watch how it all unfolded

Jul 20

"Corporate astronaut": How billionaires are joining the space race

Six hundred people have already paid Virgin Galactic $250,000 for a ticket to space

Jul 20

New York's Central Park

America's first major landscaped public park, the 840-acre park in Manhattan welcomes more than 37 million visitors every year

11H ago 25 photos

Manson Family murders: The terrifying story in pictures

A look at the cult slayings that shocked – and scared – America

Jul 3 44 photos

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Jun 24 33 photos

Evidence photos from the police shooting of Danroy "DJ" Henry Jr.

Evidence from the scene of Pace University student DJ Henry’s fatal encounter with Officer Aaron Hess in Mount Pleasant, N.Y.

Jun 22 19 photos

Apollo 11 50th anniversary: 50 photos from the moon

50 photos to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing

Jun 21 50 photos

Popular

Body cam video captures murder-for-hire suspect's arrest

On July 23, 2015, detectives with the Montgomery County Texas Constable's Office arrive at the Houston gym owned by Ramon Sosa and his wife, Lulu, to arrest Lulu on suspicion of plotting her husband's death.

19H ago 03:29

#BlazeItForward: Murder victim remembered for his generosity and spirit

Close friends of the slain college sophomore share stories about the chef, writer and aspiring doctor who left their lives too soon.

19H ago 02:27

Man dressed as Joker leads police on car chase

California is well-known for its televised car chases. But one yesterday might draw comparisons to a three-ring circus. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

updated 11M ago 01:28

Protests continue in Hong Kong for 4th week

In Hong Kong, another day and night of protests ended with police launching tear gas at activists. The unrest began building last month over a bill that would allow Hong Kong residents be extradited to stand trial in mainland China. Ramy Inocencio reports.

updated 14M ago 01:19

Trump doubles down on racist tweet

Donald Trump today added new fuel to his fight against four freshmen democratic lawmakers who are all women of color. His tweets prompted fresh criticism from democrats. Ben Tracy reports.

updated 14M ago 02:49