The Minister of Tourism of Uruguay, German Cardoso, announced his resignation on Friday, after a series of complaints of irregularities for directly assigning advertising contracts, as confirmed by sources from the center-right Colorado Party.
The complaints were made by the dismissed director of Tourism, Martín Pérez Banchero, who refused to carry out these purchases.
The Uruguayan weekly Search published this Thursday more information about alleged contracts that the head of the ministry intended to sign through direct purchases.
Cardoso belongs to the traditional Colorado Party, which is one of the coalition partners in the government of Luis Lacalle Pou, of the National Party (Blanco).
The Executive, which took office in March 2020, has had three cabinet changes so far, after the resignation of then-Chancellor Ernesto Talvi and the cessation of the Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Carlos María Uriarte.
After Pérez Banchero’s first complaint, President Lacalle Pou received Cardoso in his office and was satisfied with the explanations, as reported at first.
However, the publication of the weekly caused the president to back down with the endorsement and announce that he should study the situation again. But the president did not make public statements on the matter.
After the resignation, the leaders of the Colorado Party, -among which is the former president of Uruguay Julio María Sanguinetti (1985-1990 and 1995-2000), met this Friday to define what name they will propose to President Lacalle Pou to lead the Tourism portfolio.
In June, Cardoso had already been strongly questioned by the opposition for requests for personal favors from a police officer He was charged with imprisonment for five crimes, although Lacalle Pou, together with the government coalition, supported him.
With this departure, six of the 13 ministers who began working on March 1, 2020 in Lacalle Pou’s cabinet do not continue in their post.
The first replacement in the Executive was given with the resignation of Talvi on July 1 in the middle of the Mercosur summit, in which Uruguay began its pro tempore semester of presidency.
He was relieved by Francisco Bustillo, who until then was the Uruguayan ambassador to Spain.
The second was May 1, 2021, when the president announced the dismissal of the Minister of Social Development, Pablo Bartol, who was replaced by Martín Lema.
Twenty-one days later, Luis Alberto Heber, who until then served as head of the Transport and Public Works portfolio, was appointed Minister of the Interior after the sudden death of Jorge Larrañaga on May 22.
José Luis Falero, who until then was the deputy director of the Office of Planning and Budget (OPP), took over the place that Heber left vacant.
Finally, on June 27, Lacalle Pou announced that the until then president of the National Meat Institute, Fernando Mattos, would replace Carlos María Uriarte as Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries.