The head of Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), the agency in charge of cracking down on money-laundering operations, has resigned following a scandal related to his wedding in Guatemala.
Santiago Nieto, long seen as a trusted ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in his campaign to root out corruption, stepped down from the position on Monday.
That came after Guatemalan authorities seized $35,000 in cash from a private jet carrying influential guests to Nieto’s wedding to Carla Humphrey, a counsellor with Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE), in the city of Antigua.
Wedding guest Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, the president of the prominent Mexican newspaper El Universal, had been carrying the cash. A column in the newspaper on Monday said the money was for medical treatment and had been properly declared to Mexican officials.
Since taking office, Lopez Obrador has cultivated a persona of obsessive austerity, often flying commercial, trying to sell the presidential jet, and refusing to live in the palatial former presidential residence.