The protest movement in Puerto Rico scored its first victory when Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned Wednesday night. But that’s not demonstrators’ only demand: They want “la junta” gone too.
Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in the streets of San Juan this week to chants of “Ricky renuncia y llévate a la junta”: Ricky, resign and take the “junta” with you. Referred to colloquially as “la junta,” the eight-member Fiscal Oversight Management Board was appointed by President Obama in 2016 to restructure Puerto Rico’s more than $70 billion in debt and lift the island out of bankruptcy.
With the help of high-paid consultants, the board has cut costs on the island — but largely through budgets cuts. That’s led to rampant public school closures and a broken healthcare system, which will run out of money five months before the end of its fiscal year in 2020.
Now, protesters want the board’s members to resign, although none of them seem to want to do that. “We will steadfastly continue our efforts to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt and to ensure fiscal balance,” its members said in a statement.
Even if they did resign, President Donald Trump would pick their replacements. That’s likely exactly what will happen in September, when the board’s current term ends. Only Congress could dissolve the body before then.
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