MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s top anti-money laundering official resigned on Monday following a scandal over his Guatemala wedding party.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said he has accepted the resignation of Santiago Nieto, the former head of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Mexican Treasury.
Nieto had been seen as a trusted ally of the president in his campaign to eradicate corruption.
But Nieto’s marriage last week to a Mexican woman in the Guatemalan city of Antigua sparked a scandal that has already cost a Mexico City official his job. A private plane carrying influential wedding guests carried $ 35,000 in cash.
Mexico City’s top tourism official was on board the flight and quickly resigned. The El Universal newspaper later reported that the money was properly documented and reported, and was to be used to pay for the newspaper’s director’s medical care in the United States.
But the optics of private planes, lavish foreign weddings, and bags of money go directly against López Obrador’s style of obsessive personal austerity. He attempted to sell the presidential jet, flies on commercial flights, and refused to live in the lavish former presidential residence.
“It is scandalous, even though it is a private matter,” López Obrador said of the marriage.
Longtime progressive politician Pablo Gomez will take over from the Financial Intelligence Unit.
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