Large group protests in Orlando, calling for Puerto Rico Gov. Rossello to step down

About 1,000 people showed up in Orlando calling for him to resign

ORLANDO, Fla. – Unrest in Puerto Rico has people here in central Florida also protesting, after messages from the island's governor were leaked to the public.

Protests erupted Monday night after people claimed the messages were homophobic and called for violence against women.

About 1,000 people showed up in Orlando, calling for Gov. Ricardo Rossello to resign.

"It feels amazing to have the community of Puerto Rico, not only on the island mobilized, but also in Orlando. It's very important for us to support them back at home," said community organizer Lisa Hernandez. 

Valerie Cruz told News 6 that she moved to Orlando from Puerto Rico just two weeks ago.

"I feel very powerless. I haven't been able to sleep. I'm just watching my social media, looking at what's going on the island, supporting all of my friends," said Cruz.

The protest in Orlando briefly escalated as a counterprotester with a megaphone began to shout at the group.

"We have here people from the party of the governor also demanding his resignation, so we have unity today among our Puerto Rican people here," said a protester.

Rossello apologized to reporters on Tuesday, but also said that he has no plans to step down. His secretary of state and chief financial officer have both resigned over the controversy.

The White House released a statement today that claimed the leaked messaged further proved the escalating corruption on the island.

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