Solidarity protest held in downtown Miami against Puerto Rico governor

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Ricky Martin gave his support to Puerto Rican protesters

Authorities in Puerto Rico have issued a search warrant against the USA territory's governor and 11 other men who exchanged derogatory chat messages about gays, hurricane victims and others, officials said on Tuesday - the latest twist in a scandal engulfing the island's leadership.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday slammed Puerto Rico's governor and blasted the U.S. territory's leaders, accusing them of wasting billions of dollars of hurricane disaster relief aid as protests swelled across the island.

Police arrest a demonstrator during clashes on Monday evening in San Juan.

Rossello, 40, asked for forgiveness and said he respected the wishes of Puerto Ricans in a message broadcast online on Sunday. "Even when we are not there in the island", said Janet Pomale, the organizer. "Hundreds of thousands of people using their voice as their most important weapon", she said.

"The governor is not good", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

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"We don't want future generations to suffer what we have suffered", said Tania Garcia, a 25-year-old engineer from the eastern town of Juncos who vowed to keep protesting. A massive leak of text messages showed Governor Rosselló exchanging sexist, homophobic and profane text messages with government officials, calling former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito a "whore", mocking victims of Hurricane Maria and joking about shooting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

"He's a bad governor", Trump said. "You have grossly incompetent leadership".

Puerto Rico's non-voting representative to the U.S. Congress as well as Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers have called for the governor to step aside after nine days of sometimes violent protests.

The political turmoil comes at a critical stage in the island's bankruptcy process as it tries to restructure some $120bn in debt and pension obligations. The storm left almost 3,000 people dead in the United States territory.

Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin holds a Puerto Rican flag as he participates in a protest demanding the resignation of the governor.

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