(CNN)Now that Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has said he will leave office after major protests on the island, Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez Garced is next in line — and in the crosshairs of wary demonstrators.

Vázquez became Secretary of Justice in January 2017. She’s an ally of Rosselló, who wished her a happy birthday in a tweet just two weeks ago. She retweeted the post and said her “commitment to justice and the people of PR is unwavering.”Still, she will have to convince many Puerto Ricans that she is more committed to them than to the disgraced governor and their pro-statehood New Progressive Party.In fact, protestors and critics behind the popular “Ricky, resign” hashtag, or #RickyRenuncia, are now pushing the trending #WandaRenuncia.”Her positions and her character as a person is well aligned with what Ricardo Rosselló represents,” said Mayra Velez Serrano, a professor of political science at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. “It’s no surprise that Puerto Ricans don’t want her either.”Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez Garced is next in line to the governorship if Governor Ricardo Rosselló leaves office.Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez Garced is next in line to the governorship if Governor Ricardo Rosselló leaves office.Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez Garced is next in line to the governorship if Governor Ricardo Rosselló leaves office.Read MoreMany protesters consider Vazquez a liabilityRosselló said this week he will step down next Friday after being humbled by more than a week of protests calling for his resignation. His own party has been prepared to begin impeachment proceedings.The 40-year-old’s meteoric political collapse was triggered in part by the Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism’s publication of a series of group messages between the governor and his inner circle that included homophobic and misogynistic language and jokes about Hurricane Maria victims.Puerto Rico’s Constitution holds that the Secretary of State is next in line to the governorship, but Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin resigned amid the recent protests. The Secretary of Justice is next in the succession order. Putting off his resignation for a week gives Rosselló a little time to appoint a new Secretary of State. Many Puerto Ricans are standing up against decades of corruption and mismanagement, and what they say is second-class treatment as a US territory, consider Vazquez a liability at such a crucial moment in the island’s history. Vazquez was cleared in an ethics investigation Protesters celebrate in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that he will resign.Protesters celebrate in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that he will resign. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters celebrate in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that he will resign.Hide Caption 1 of 45Puerto Ricans wave flags in celebration of Rosselló's resignation.Puerto Ricans wave flags in celebration of Rosselló's resignation. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPuerto Ricans wave flags in celebration of Rosselló’s resignation.Hide Caption 2 of 45Demonstrators react in front of the governor's mansion, known as La Fortaleza.Demonstrators react in front of the governor's mansion, known as La Fortaleza. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationDemonstrators react in front of the governor’s mansion, known as La Fortaleza.Hide Caption 3 of 45People in the crowd hold flowers and flags outside the governor's mansion.People in the crowd hold flowers and flags outside the governor's mansion. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPeople in the crowd hold flowers and flags outside the governor’s mansion.Hide Caption 4 of 45A demonstrator rejoices after Rosselló announced his resignation.A demonstrator rejoices after Rosselló announced his resignation. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA demonstrator rejoices after Rosselló announced his resignation.Hide Caption 5 of 45Jubilant demonstrators are seen in the streets of Old San Juan.Jubilant demonstrators are seen in the streets of Old San Juan. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationJubilant demonstrators are seen in the streets of Old San Juan.Hide Caption 6 of 45A woman celebrates near La Fortaleza.A woman celebrates near La Fortaleza. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA woman celebrates near La Fortaleza.Hide Caption 7 of 45A Puerto Rican man cheers after the resignation of Rosselló.A Puerto Rican man cheers after the resignation of Rosselló. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA Puerto Rican man cheers after the resignation of Rosselló.Hide Caption 8 of 45A demonstrator listens to Rosselló's resignation message on a cell phone.A demonstrator listens to Rosselló's resignation message on a cell phone. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA demonstrator listens to Rosselló’s resignation message on a cell phone.Hide Caption 9 of 45Protesters rally in San Juan on Wednesday, July 24.Protesters rally in San Juan on Wednesday, July 24. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters rally in San Juan on Wednesday, July 24.Hide Caption 10 of 45Demonstrators react Tuesday, July 23, upon hearing reports that Rosselló would step down.Demonstrators react Tuesday, July 23, upon hearing reports that Rosselló would step down. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationDemonstrators react Tuesday, July 23, upon hearing reports that Rosselló would step down.Hide Caption 11 of 45Police clash with protesters during demonstrations against Rosselló on Monday, July 22. The protests continued into Tuesday morning.Police clash with protesters during demonstrations against Rosselló on Monday, July 22. The protests continued into Tuesday morning. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPolice clash with protesters during demonstrations against Rosselló on Monday, July 22. The protests continued into Tuesday morning.Hide Caption 12 of 45A protester throws a tear gas canister toward police in San Juan.A protester throws a tear gas canister toward police in San Juan. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA protester throws a tear gas canister toward police in San Juan.Hide Caption 13 of 45A protester reacts to tear gas outside the governor's mansion.A protester reacts to tear gas outside the governor's mansion. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA protester reacts to tear gas outside the governor’s mansion.Hide Caption 14 of 45Protesters run away from tear gas near the governor's mansion. Protesters run away from tear gas near the governor's mansion. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters run away from tear gas near the governor’s mansion. Hide Caption 15 of 45A line of police moves toward demonstrators.A line of police moves toward demonstrators. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA line of police moves toward demonstrators.Hide Caption 16 of 45A woman confronts police in riot gear.A woman confronts police in riot gear. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA woman confronts police in riot gear.Hide Caption 17 of 45Protesters disperse in a cloud of tear gas.Protesters disperse in a cloud of tear gas. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters disperse in a cloud of tear gas.Hide Caption 18 of 45People hold up their phones during the rally outside the governor's mansion.People hold up their phones during the rally outside the governor's mansion. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPeople hold up their phones during the rally outside the governor’s mansion.Hide Caption 19 of 45Protesters demonstrate near a police  barricade set up along a street leading to the governor's mansion.Protesters demonstrate near a police  barricade set up along a street leading to the governor's mansion. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters demonstrate near a police barricade set up along a street leading to the governor’s mansion.Hide Caption 20 of 45This aerial view, taken from a drone, shows protesters on the Expreso Las Americas highway on Monday.This aerial view, taken from a drone, shows protesters on the Expreso Las Americas highway on Monday. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationThis aerial view, taken from a drone, shows protesters on the Expreso Las Americas highway on Monday.Hide Caption 21 of 45People join the rally against Rosselló on Monday.People join the rally against Rosselló on Monday. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPeople join the rally against Rosselló on Monday.Hide Caption 22 of 45A masked man protests in San Juan.A masked man protests in San Juan. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA masked man protests in San Juan.Hide Caption 23 of 45Protesters block the way to Rosselló's residence on Monday.Protesters block the way to Rosselló's residence on Monday. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters block the way to Rosselló’s residence on Monday.Hide Caption 24 of 45Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin, waving a rainbow flag, joins the protests on Monday. Members of the group chat that Rosselló took part in made vulgar references to the star's sexuality.Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin, waving a rainbow flag, joins the protests on Monday. Members of the group chat that Rosselló took part in made vulgar references to the star's sexuality. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPuerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin, waving a rainbow flag, joins the protests on Monday. Members of the group chat that Rosselló took part in made vulgar references to the star’s sexuality.Hide Caption 25 of 45Puerto Ricans in San Juan demand Rosselló's resignation on Monday.Puerto Ricans in San Juan demand Rosselló's resignation on Monday. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPuerto Ricans in San Juan demand Rosselló’s resignation on Monday.Hide Caption 26 of 45Protesters attach a banner to a highway sign.Protesters attach a banner to a highway sign. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters attach a banner to a highway sign.Hide Caption 27 of 45Singer Daddy Yankee, in the flag shirt, attends the rally on Monday.Singer Daddy Yankee, in the flag shirt, attends the rally on Monday. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationSinger Daddy Yankee, in the flag shirt, attends the rally on Monday.Hide Caption 28 of 45A woman is assisted in the streets after demonstrators clashed with police on Wednesday, July 17.A woman is assisted in the streets after demonstrators clashed with police on Wednesday, July 17. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA woman is assisted in the streets after demonstrators clashed with police on Wednesday, July 17.Hide Caption 29 of 45Police fire tear gas at demonstrators on July 17.Police fire tear gas at demonstrators on July 17. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPolice fire tear gas at demonstrators on July 17.Hide Caption 30 of 45Police officers search the bag of a detained demonstrator on July 17.Police officers search the bag of a detained demonstrator on July 17. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPolice officers search the bag of a detained demonstrator on July 17.Hide Caption 31 of 45Rosselló defended the actions of police and accused protesters of unleashing tear gas and setting fires during demonstrations.Rosselló defended the actions of police and accused protesters of unleashing tear gas and setting fires during demonstrations. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationRosselló defended the actions of police and accused protesters of unleashing tear gas and setting fires during demonstrations.Hide Caption 32 of 45Thousands of demonstrators protest in front of the governor's mansion on July 17.Thousands of demonstrators protest in front of the governor's mansion on July 17. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationThousands of demonstrators protest in front of the governor’s mansion on July 17.Hide Caption 33 of 45A protester reacts after being sprayed by tear gas in San Juan.A protester reacts after being sprayed by tear gas in San Juan. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA protester reacts after being sprayed by tear gas in San Juan.Hide Caption 34 of 45Rapper Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, known by his stage name Bad Bunny, holds a Puerto Rican flag before a march on July 17.Rapper Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, known by his stage name Bad Bunny, holds a Puerto Rican flag before a march on July 17. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationRapper Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, known by his stage name Bad Bunny, holds a Puerto Rican flag before a march on July 17.Hide Caption 35 of 45Ricky Martin holds a microphone during the march on July 17. At right is rapper Rene Perez, aka Residente.Ricky Martin holds a microphone during the march on July 17. At right is rapper Rene Perez, aka Residente. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationRicky Martin holds a microphone during the march on July 17. At right is rapper Rene Perez, aka Residente.Hide Caption 36 of 45People gather to demand Rosselló's resignation on July 17.People gather to demand Rosselló's resignation on July 17. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPeople gather to demand Rosselló’s resignation on July 17.Hide Caption 37 of 45Police block the street leading to the governor's mansion on Tuesday, July 16. Police block the street leading to the governor's mansion on Tuesday, July 16. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPolice block the street leading to the governor’s mansion on Tuesday, July 16. Hide Caption 38 of 45Rosselló attends a news conference in San Juan on July 16.Rosselló attends a news conference in San Juan on July 16. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationRosselló attends a news conference in San Juan on July 16.Hide Caption 39 of 45Protesters gather near the executive mansion on Monday, July 15.Protesters gather near the executive mansion on Monday, July 15. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters gather near the executive mansion on Monday, July 15.Hide Caption 40 of 45Demonstrators cover their mouths with duct tape that says "resignation" in Spanish.Demonstrators cover their mouths with duct tape that says "resignation" in Spanish. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationDemonstrators cover their mouths with duct tape that says “resignation” in Spanish.Hide Caption 41 of 45Protesters take to the streets of San Juan on July 15.Protesters take to the streets of San Juan on July 15. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationProtesters take to the streets of San Juan on July 15.Hide Caption 42 of 45A police officer blocks protesters from reaching the governor's residence on Sunday, July 14.A police officer blocks protesters from reaching the governor's residence on Sunday, July 14. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationA police officer blocks protesters from reaching the governor’s residence on Sunday, July 14.Hide Caption 43 of 45Police block the street leading to the governor's mansion on July 14.Police block the street leading to the governor's mansion on July 14. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationPolice block the street leading to the governor’s mansion on July 14.Hide Caption 44 of 45Demonstrators hold signs that say "Corruption is violence" and "Ricky resign" while protesting near the executive mansion on Thursday, July 11.Demonstrators hold signs that say "Corruption is violence" and "Ricky resign" while protesting near the executive mansion on Thursday, July 11. Photos: In pictures: Puerto Ricans celebrate governor's resignationDemonstrators hold signs that say “Corruption is violence” and “Ricky resign” while protesting near the executive mansion on Thursday, July 11.Hide Caption 45 of 4507 pr protests 072513 pr protests 072505 pr protests 072511 pr protests 072501 pr protests 072512 pr protests 072504 pr protest 072509 pr protests 072506 pr protests 072501 cnn puerto rico 072403 puerto rico 0723bpt106 Puerto Rico protests 0723201918 puerto rico protest 072201 puerto rico 0723bpt101 puerto rico protests 07232019bpt104 Puerto RIco protests 0723201914 puerto rico protest 072216 puerto rico protest 072213 puerto rico protest 072212 puerto rico protest 072206 Puerto Rico protestbpt101 Puerto Rico protests 0722201907 puerto rico 072208 Puerto Rico protest11 Puerto Rico protestbpt104 Puerto Rico protests 0722201907 Puerto Rico protest10 Puerto Rico protest02 Puerto Rico Protests 071802 pr protest gallery03 pr protest gallery RESTRICTED04 pr protest gallery05 pr protest gallery06 pr protest gallery07 pr protest gallery08 pr protest gallery09 pr protest gallery11 pr protest gallery12 pr protest gallery13 pr protest gallery03 Puerto Rico Governor protests 0715 RESTRICTED14 pr protest gallery RESTRICTED15 pr protest gallery16 pr protest gallery17 pr protest galleryCritics cite Vázquez’s close ties to the outgoing governor as well as her own controversies and limited political experience. They accuse her of failing to open investigations against members of her own party, particularly Rosselló and his administration’s handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017. “People were asking why weren’t there investigations?,” Velez said. “Was it was for political reasons? There is a lot of mistrust with that. There is this connection between that and why Puerto Ricans are upset with Rosselló.”Last year, Vazquez came under fire for allegedly intervening on behalf of her daughter in a case stemming from a home theft. She faced charges of violating government ethics laws. But a judge later ruled there was insufficient evidence to arrest her. Days before the leaked chats this month, FBI agents arrested two ranking Rosselló officials — including Education Secretary Julia Keleher — for allegedly directing contracts worth millions to politically connected firms. “People are saying that if it wasn’t because of the FBI, we would never know about this corruption,” Velez said. “People don’t believe in her capacity to uphold the law and hold people accountable. They see her as another person who is more about the political party.”Vázquez also has had a strained relationship with Thomas Rivera Schatz, the president of the Senate and likely new head of their party. “She will not only be facing the Puerto Rican people and their mistrust, but she will also be facing a political party led by a person who doesn’t want her there,” Velez said of Vasquez and Schatz. ‘She is business as usual,’ professor saysVázquez was nominated as Secretary of Justice in December 2016. Her mandate includes fighting corruption, improving transparency, and supporting survivors of crime, according to the Democratic Attorneys General Association.She earned her bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University of Puerto Rico and her law degree from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law, the organization says.She was a lawyer for the Department of Housing and then a prosecutor, often working on cases of domestic violence, sex offenses, and mistreatment of minors, it adds.”She is business as usual,” Cynthia García Coll, a protester who teaches at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, said of Vazquez. “We are not going to be business as usual.”

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https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/25/us/wanda-vazquez-garced-puerto-rico/index.html

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