Things That Matter

Puerto Rico Could Be Left Without A Governor As The Woman Next In Line Doesn’t Want The Job

Puerto Ricans have set a shining example of what peaceful political reform and patriotism looks like in a democracy. After two weeks of ongoing protests and a trending hashtag #RickyRenuncia, Governor Ricardo Rossello announced Wednesday, July 24, that he is resigning August 2. Dozens of officials involved in the leaked text message scandal that insulted victims of Hurricane Maria, called San Juan’s mayor “una tremenda hija de puta” and specifically blasted their very own Ricky Martin with homophobic slurs, has left Puerto Rico with few existing options to take Rossello’s seat.

Former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín would have been instated as governor, but he has also resigned as complicit in the scandal. The woman next in line would be Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez, but Puerto Rico isn’t having it. The very same day as Rossello’s announcement, a new hashtag was born: #WandaRenuncia. Yesterday, she announced that she doesn’t want the job.

Even amidst the #WandaRenuncia protests, Rossello posted this photo op with Vázquez.

@ricardorossello / Instagram

He captioned the photo, “Discussing the transition with the Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vázquez.” If officials ever thought Puerto Ricans were disengaged from politics, it’s clearer than ever that they won’t get away with much anymore.

Puerto Ricans have a list of officials they want ousted, though Vázquez has tried to maintain her innocence in the alleged scandal.

@ajplus / Twitter

Vázquez is under fire from the public for not calling an investigation into the mismanagement of money and supplies for Hurricane Maria victims. On Friday, Vázquez said that much of the complaints are based in misinformation, and that she is legally bound to keep certain cases private.

Vázquez believes that her loss of public favor is due to the “agenda of some” to “destabilize the government.”

@newslink7com / Twitter

“The vicious attacks on my personal and professional integrity continue,” Vázquez said Friday. “The desire and agenda of some to try to undermine my credibility at this moment of transcendental importance to Puerto Rico and to destabilize the governmental order is evident.”

Another massive protest was planned for today, this time against Vázquez.

@ajplus / Twitter

The focus since Rossello’s resignation had already shifted to Vázquez, with Old San Juan sounding like this: “Wanda Vazquez no te vistas que no vas, llevate a la junta, Johnny Mendez y Tomas Rivera Schatz.”

Still, the day before the major protest scheduled, Vázquez announced that she won’t be filling in for Rossello. We’ll see if that’s enough for the Puerto Rican people.

Puerto Ricans feel betrayed by their government and empowered to change it in the largest limpia in Puerto Rican history.

@APESSHIT / Twitter

In fact, it was the FBI that eventually arrested six officials on charges of conspiracy and other crimes involved with the millions of dollars in Medicaid and education funds funneled away from the Puerto Rican people.

Puerto Ricans not only reject Vázquez as Governor–they want her to resign from her current position as well.

Claro, Puerto Ricans are getting creative in their efforts to get Vázquez’ resignation.

@RobbyCortes / Twitter

One Twitter user tries to explain this image: “Creative protests continue. This one is odd to explain but I’ll try in this thread.PRican TV icon and weatherperson @SusanSoltero used social media to call for a mass rolling down El Morro’s hill to call for Wanda Vázquez’s resignation before she becomes governor. #WandaRenuncia”

It’s written on San Juan’s walls, Vázquez: Puerto Rico doesn’t want you anymore.

@viaSimonRomero / Twitter

Many suspect that these protests are much bigger than a simple shift in leadership. It’s a complete government overhaul of the people who are not gente. The RickyLeaks that mocked the deaths of Maria victims has shook la gente, many of whom weren’t ever able to give their family a proper burial amidst the chaos.

Now, Puerto Ricans are warily expecting Rossello to choose his replacement.

@loufor45 / Twitter

With the Secretary of State position left vacant, Rosselló must select a new official, who would then, under Puerto Rican law, would become the governor. After Secretary of State would be the Treasury Secretary. Unfortunately, Puerto rico’s Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés is four years too young to become Governor.

Interim Education Secretary Eligio Hernández is expected to be tapped by Rosselló.

@PulsoEST / Twitter

Hernández replaced former education secretary Julia Keleher, who resigned after her arrest on federal corruption. That would mean that Hernández would be the fourth in line. Will Puerto Rico accept him? Vamos a ver.

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Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Entertainment

Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Prediction: You will want to check out Walter Mercado’s house in Puerto Rico, and maybe even buy it up and call it home. And what perfect timing, because the stars have aligned to bring you his Puerto Rico pad at an unbeatable price.

That’s right! Walter Mercado’s home in San Juan is up for sale!

Located in an “exclusive area” of San Juan, according to the property listing, the six-bedroom, five-bathroom estate is on sale for just $395,000.

Since you likely won’t fly to San Juan right now (thanks, COVID), you can check out the flamboyant cape aficionados sweet, two story tropical oasis on Realtor.com.

The listing photos show the home’s vibrant interior, which appears in the documentary, with yellow, red and green walls. The first floor boasts a large living room, kitchen and dining room. Tile-work leads up the stairs to the second level, where there’s yet another living room, dining room and a smaller kitchen — plus two balconies.

Outside, there’s a pool area with a gazebo and a patio, as well as a covered carport for at least four cars.

The home seems to be having trouble finding a buyer.

The estate originally hit the market for $495,000 in September 2020 but with no buyer in the cards, it then had its price slashed to $430,000 in December, according to Realtor.com. It’s now asking just $395,000.

Mercado already sold his Miami property in 2017 to cover financial difficulties.

While in Miami, Mercado maintained an apartment at The Grand in downtown for many years until 2017 when he decamped part time to New York.

Many in his family had hoped to turn his Puerto Rico home into a museum to the late icon, but due to zoning issues the family decided the best step forward was to list the home for sale. Regarding Mercado’s belongings that were contained within the home (so many of which we came to see in the Netflix documentary), one of his nieces told Pledge Times, that though family members have each kept some items, many were given to the Miami History Museum, and some items will go to Mexico. However, his cape with the Puerto Rican flag is being sent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

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Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

Entertainment

Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

As you probably know by now, a new season of the never-ending reality series “The Bachelor” has just started.

And this season is destined to be especially exciting–not just because of the promise of non-stop drama, but because the franchise has finally hired its first Black male lead, Matt James, after 18 years on the air.

And with the first Black “Bachelor” comes the most diverse group of contestants competing for the lead’s heart that they’ve ever had.

And one of the contestants that is capturing the hearts of both fans and Matt James alike is 24-year-old Puerto Rican-born pageant queen Mariela “Mari” Pepin.

On this season’s premiere episode of “The Bachelor”, Mari was immediately clocked by viewers as one of the front runners by the way that Matt reacted to meeting her. The former Wake Forest wide receiver was struck speechless by her beauty and couldn’t keep his eyes off her when she parted ways with him. It was obvious that Mari had made quite the first impression on him.

And because we love to see #representation on screen (and especially on reality TV), we decided to do our due diligence and find out as much as we could about this gorgeous and accomplished Latina. Here’s everything you need to know about Mari Pepin.

She’s Boricua–and proud of it!

Something that immediately endeared Mari to fans was the fact that she is so vocally proud of being Puerto Rican. In her first sit-down conversation with Matt, she opened up about how hard its been for her family to live through the relentless natural disasters that the island is going through.

She’s a military brat.

According to Mari’s personal blog, she spent the first few years of her life in PR before relocating to Germany because of her father’s military career. According to Mari, her unique childhood contributed to her love of traveling as an adult.

She was 2019’s Miss Maryland USA.

According to Mari’s official “Bachelor” bio, she began competing in pageants when she moved to Maryland as a teenager. She won Miss Teen Maryland and then went on to win the title of Miss Maryland. After that, she placed in the Top 10 of the Miss USA competition.

She’s wicked smart.

According to Mari’s LinkedIn page, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Towson University and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing Intelligence from the same institution. It’s safe to say she values education.

She’s multilingual.

Not only does Mari speak both Spanish and English flawlessly, but she’s also fluent in French and American Sign Language.

Based on all this info alone, we can’t wait to see Mari Pepin crush this season of “The Bachelor”. Hopefully, this Boricua beauty will be popping up a lot on our screens for years to come!

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