SAN JUAN, P.R. — The uprising that toppled Puerto Rico’s leaders might be traced to a day earlier this month, when the governor, Ricardo A. Rosselló, was not even on the island. He was on vacation in Europe, curating his Instagram feed with smiling pictures of him and his wife savoring Paris.
The political legacy that he and his father — a former governor — had built began to show the first signs of crumbling a few days into the trip, when two top former members of his administration were indicted on federal corruption charges. A day later, several nasty text messages that he and his close circle of powerful friends had written — one calling a prominent female politician a “whore” — were leaked. Mr. Rosselló frantically cut his vacation short, hopping off a cruise ship at a port of call and onto three different planes, leaving his family behind.
The Colectiva Feminista en Construcción, a women’s group that had long been at odds with the governor, had already sprung into action. When Mr. Rosselló walked off a plane on July 11, looking bleary-eyed and distracted, he found nearly 100 people brought in by the feminist collective and other activist groups, waving protest signs and demanding that he step down.