March 3, 2020 / 5:55 AM / a month ago

Senior Mexican official quits, in latest blow to president

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures as he speaks during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A senior Mexican official in charge of one of the government’s signature social programs resigned on Monday in a sharply-worded letter that marked the latest bust-up within President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration.

Javier May was the deputy welfare minister in charge of “Sembrando Vida”, an ambitious forestation program focused on Mexico’s poorer south intended to provide jobs and support agriculture. The scheme has also been exported to Central America in a bid to help contain migration from the region.

“Once the Welfare Minister had unilaterally revoked the faculties required to run the said program, the conditions to remain in charge of it no longer existed,” May said in a resignation letter seen by Reuters.

A government source confirmed that the letter is official.

May did not reply to a request for comment, nor did the welfare ministry.

Differences over Lopez Obrador’s policy decisions and governing style have prompted other prominent officials to quit.

Among them, the most high-level was Finance Minister Carlos Urzua, who resigned in July 2019 with a letter that shocked markets by citing “extremism” in economic policy.

Reporting by Adriana Barrera and Dave Grahama; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Kim Coghill

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