Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou Sunday announced he shall be appointing current National Meat Institute head Fernando Mattos as the country's new Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries instead of Carlos María Uriarte.
Lacalle announced through his Twitter account, where he added the new office has been selected in agreement with the Colorado Party.”
The President added that he trusted in Mattos' “professional and personal capacity to share the present and future challenge of the sector” and expressed his “recognition to Carlos M. Uriarte for his human warmth and commitment.
Uriarte is a Colorado with white roots, and at his time, he was proposed for office by the former Colorado candidate and ex-Foreign Minister Ernesto Talvi.
Environment Minister Adrián Peña conveyed the government's decision to Uriarte. “The idea is to deepen the line that was in our government program. For this new stage I proposed the name of Fernando Mattos to the president, he added.
The president accepted the name and today I held separate meetings with Mattos and the Colorado directors of MGAP to inform them first-hand,” Peña said.
Uriarte, who on more than one occasion was in the eye of the storm for statements considered out of place, was in office for the Colorado Party quota, but his nationalist roots have repeatedly sparked nuances among cabinet members.
Also leading to Uriarte's removal was the shipment to China of containers wrongly labelled “beef.” The incident had previously resulted in the dismissal of Eduardo Barre, one Uriarte's most trusted aides.
According to press reports, Uriarte was not on good terms either with Undersecretary Ignacio Buffa, one of President Lacalle's main advisers on agricultural issues.
It is yet another cabinet change since Lacalle's tenure began. First was Francisco Bustillo instead of Talvi, in Foreign Relations; Martín Lema replaced Pablo Bartol in May at Social Development and now Mattos comes on for Uriarte.
In addition, Luis Heber left José Luis Falero at the helm of Transport when he was asked to take over Interior following the death of Jorge Larrañaga.
Mattos had been appointed in 2020 as president of INAC and is an agricultural producer in Cerro Largo and Tacuarembó. He was president of the Rural Association of Uruguay (ARU) from 2004 to 2006 and between 1997 and 2005 he was an ARU delegate before the National Meat Institute, which he represented in official missions, fairs and international congresses in South America, Europe, USA, Canada and Japan. He has been the delegate of livestock production in the negotiations between the European Union and Mercosur and of the Rural Association of Uruguay before the Mercosur Meat Forum.
Meanwhile, Uriarte thanked Lacalle on Twitter “for the honour of having been a part of this government which makes me very proud.”
In May, Uriarte had denied the possibility of resigning despite his differences with Buffa and with General Director Fernanda Maldonado. In April, Lacalle Pou had dismissed two senior officials of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, as a result of the error that led to China suspending imports of products from an Uruguayan meat processing plant due to mishandling of the labelling of boxes sent to that country. destination. The dismissed officials were veterinarians Eduardo Barre, director of the General Directorate of Animal Health, and Gustavo Rossi, in charge of the Directorate of the Animal Industry Division.