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Official: Ex Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez arrested


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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Former Puerto Rican Governor Wanda Vázquez was arrested Thursday in the United States on corruption charges, marking the first time a former leader of the island has faced federal charges. , an official told the Associated Press.

Two other unidentified people were arrested with her, said the official, who was not authorized to speak about the federal case.

Juan Rosado-Reynés, a spokesman for Vázquez, told the AP he had no immediate comment.

In mid-May, Vázquez’s attorney told reporters that he and his client were preparing for possible charges because the former governor at the time denied any wrongdoing. “I can tell the people of Puerto Rico that I have not committed any crime, that I have not engaged in any illegal or incorrect behavior, as I have always said. “

Vázquez is the second woman to serve as governor of Puerto Rico and the first former governor to face federal charges. Former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá was charged with campaign finance violations while in office and was found not guilty in 2009. He is the first Puerto Rican governor to be charged in recent history.

Vázquez was sworn in as governor in August 2019 after former Governor Ricardo Rosselló resigned following massive protests. She served until 2021, after losing the pro-state New Radical Party primaries to now Gov Pedro Pierluisi.

Vázquez previously served as the island’s judicial secretary and district attorney for more than 30 years.

She became governor after the Puerto Rico Supreme Court ruled that Pierluisi’s oath of office in 2019 as governor was unconstitutional. Vázquez at the time said she was not interested in running for office and would only complete nearly two years remaining in Rosselló’s term.

Rosselló resigned after tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans took to the streets, angered by corruption, mismanagement of public funds and an obscene conversation in which he and 11 other men, including officials the state mocks women, homosexuals and victims of the storm. Maria, among others.

Shortly after being sworn in, Vázquez told the AP that her priorities were fighting corruption, securing federal hurricane recovery funds and helping to pull Puerto Rico out of a deep economic crisis as it emerged. government trying to get out of bankruptcy.

In the interview, she told the AP that she had long wanted to be on duty: as a girl, she would stand on her balcony and hold imaginary trials, always finding the defendants. presumed guilty.



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