Scandals and storms have left Puerto Rico drowning in debt


The scandal engulfing Puerto Rico was most not too long ago fueled by revelations in July that Gov. Richard Rosselló had exchanged sexist and homophobic messages with high aides — however the seeds of residents’ discontent had been sown years earlier.

The US territory is drowning in debt to the tune of roughly $70 billion, with roughly 40 p.c of island residents residing in poverty whereas authorities spending is uncontrolled.

Puerto Rico defaulted on its month-to-month debt for the primary time in 2015. Two years later, the territory filed for chapter — the most important US chapter declare for a authorities entity in historical past.

And because the economic system will get worse, extra Puerto Ricans go away the island, which means the federal government has much less tax income to pay the payments.

Hurricane Maria made every part worse.

The 2017 storm killed greater than 3,000 individuals, knocked out energy for months and devastated the island’s housing inventory and infrastructure. It additionally created a feud between President Trump and a few Puerto Rican officers, who complained about what they known as the administration’s lackluster response to the tragedy.

Then, with restoration efforts ongoing, Puerto Rico’s Heart for Investigative Journalism launched 900 pages of leaked chats by which Rosselló and a dozen aides and Cupboard members exchanged the nasty messages about rivals, celebrities and others, in a scandal wags dubbed “RickyLeaks.”