Puerto Rico's new governor Wanda Vázquez has all eyes on her and many challenges ahead. Get to know her better.

By Lena Hansen
August 08, 2019 04:28 PM

Wanda Vázquez is the new governor of Puerto Rico, but her new gig comes with many challenges. After Ricardo Rosselló resigned and left his role vacant on August 2 — following massive protests that got worldwide attention — many wondered who would take the island’s lead. Rosselló nominated Pedro Pierluisi to replace him, but Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court invalidated Pierluisi’s oath of office, ruling that it was unconstitutional. On Wednesday, Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez was sworn in as the new governor, despite previously expressing hesitation at taking the position.

Dennis M Rivera Pichardo/AP/Shutterstock

Prior to becoming governor, Vázquez was already under pressure, with protesters criticizing her and starting the social media campaign “#WandaResign,” similar to the “#RickyRenuncia” campaign that led to the former governor’s resignation. However, Vázquez stepped up to the plate, following the line of succession laid out by Puerto Rico’s constitution.

She talked about her crucial new role in a recent post on Twitter: “Our legal ordinance imposes that the Justice Secretary must assume the role of governor of Puerto Rico, a position that I am willing to take on with the responsibility and seriousness it deserves. Puerto Rico needs certainty and stability. Our actions are directed to that end and that will always come first.”

According to reports, Vázquez previously worked for the Puerto Rico Department of Housing and as a district attorney for the Puerto Rico Department of Justice for 20 years, specializing in cases of domestic and sexual abuse. She is married to Jorge Díaz Reverón, a Superior Judge. In 2010, Vázquez was appointed by Rosselló as the head of the Office of Women’s Rights, but faced criticism. “A lot of feminist groups were very critical of Wanda Vázquez,” Saadi Rosado of the advocacy group the Feminist Collective, told The New York Times. “She failed to address gender violence issues and was another piece of government bureaucracy,” she added. The new governor now has the eyes of the world on her as she writes a new chapter in the history of the beloved island.

 

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