Mexico’s environment minister resigns for delaying flight

FILE – In this April 29, 2019 file photo, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador attends a ceremony at the Military Airbase Number 1 in Santa Lucia, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Mexico’s Congress approved a series of safeguards Thursday, May 23, intended to prevent abuses under the country’s new militarized police force known as the National Guard.(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Mexico’s minister of the environment presented her resignation to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Saturday, the second Cabinet resignation in less than a week, after receiving criticism for an air flight.

In a letter on her Twitter account, Josefa González-Blanco said she resigned because she delayed the departure of a flight that had waited for her to start a working trip.

López Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, has promised a government without privileges or corruption.

“There is no justification,” the minister of the environment and natural resources said in the letter. “The true transformation of Mexico requires a total congruence with the values of equity and justice. No one should have privileges and one’s benefit, even if it is to fulfill one’s functions, should not be put above the welfare of the majority.”

The delay of the flight for more than half an hour had generated criticism from other passengers and the media.

González-Blanco’s resignation comes four days after that of Germán Martínez Cázares, head of the Mexican Social Security Institute, the country’s main public health system. In his resignation, Martínez Cázares lashed out at health spending cuts.

López Obrador himself has gotten rid of his presidential guard and travels on commercial flights. On Tuesday, he said that since he imposed a rule requiring public officials receive approval for international trips, he has received about 100 petitions and approved only 20.

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