A day after more than half a million people took part of Puerto Rico's main highway to demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, the Oversight Board said citizens demonstrations reflect "a justified crisis of confidence in government institutions," and added they hope that the "political process swiftly resolves the current governance crisis" the island is facing.
"We have watched the protests with admiration for the fortitude of the people of Puerto Rico and with sadness for the crisis that has made the protests necessary. The people of Puerto Rico deserve a well-functioning, responsive, sustainable government that operates with integrity and transparency," said yesterday the entity with authority over the island's elected government.
"For far too long, government in Puerto Rico has failed to treat the island's residents with the respect they deserve," the Board added in a written statement.
The Board warned that the problems with the government in Puerto Rico are not “unique to any politician, administration or political party."
"The responsibility to restore the integrity and efficiency to government lies with the elected officials, who must implement civil service and procurement reforms, centralize financial management, increase transparency in the tax credit and incentive system, and improve enforcement of laws that promote transparency and accountability," the Board stated.
The entity also stressed that elected officials and all government employees' job is "to serve" the people of the island and not "insiders, special interests or their own political careers."
The Board issued released this statement at a time when, in the U.S. political sphere, leaders close to Puerto Rican issues, such as Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Raúl Grijalva, have asked Rosselló Nevares to step down in the wake of the Telegram chat scandal and corruption cases within his administration.
Similarly, these expressions come while, in Washington, they are beginning to define stricter oversight on the release of federal funds for the island.