Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto, accepted Wednesday the resignation of his Interior Minister and close political collaborator, Miguel Angel Osorio, whose tenure has seen major controversies over the years.
Osorio has accompanied Peña Nieto since the beginning of his presidential campaign and almost throughout his six years in power. As interior minister, a position he held since 2012, he oversaw security matters, migration and human rights.
As he stepped down he boasted he had "fulfilled his duty." However, 2017 was Mexico's deadliest year since 1997, the first year of recorded statistics. Over 23,100 murder investigations were opened last year alone.
During his resignation speech he also said he said he had acted "with passion and love for this great country," a country he served as security minister when 43 students from the Ayotzinapa rural school in the Iguala municipality in Mexico were disappeared after municipal police and the Mexican army persecuted them. The operation by state security forces also saw the killing of at least eight people and injured 34 others.
When family members of the 43 disappeared students demanded that the state investigate the Mexican army battalion, Osorio responded "enough of blaming the federal government."
Osorio also led the interior ministry when Mexican drug lord and leader of the Sinaloa cartel Joaquín Guzman, known as El Chapo, escaped from a federal prison in 2015 for a second time, causing major international embarrassment for Peña Nieto's government.
Osorio claimed he is stepping down to "tend to new political and professional necessities." He is expected to seek a Senate seat in the 2018 federal elections to be held in July.