The head of the national water commission, Conagua, announced his resignation at a press conference in Mexico City on the morning of Thursday April 9th.
One day after celebrating his 42nd birthday, Korenfeld repeated a public apology he made on April 1 for using a Conagua helicopter to fly himself and his family to Mexico City airport to leave the country on vacation.
“For that I offered my sincere apology and I reiterate it today. As humans we are always susceptible to mistakes, but we must have the courage to admit them, offer our apologies and assume the consequences.”
The helicopter story — being referred to in Mexican media as helicoptergate — broke after a neighbor of Korenfeld’s in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico, took a photo of the family boarding the aircraft on March 29. The water commission chief said via his Twitter account a few days later that he was on his way to seek medical attention for knee and hip problems.
But it was reported later that Korenfeld had participated in a 12-kilometer run in Mexico City just a week before, and he was using neither crutches nor a cane when he took the fateful helicopter ride. However, there was no mention of the health issues during today’s 4-1/2-minute conference.
“I have conducted myself as I always have in my public and private life according to the values of truth and honesty, up-front and with transparency,” Korenfeld said, expressing his appreciation “for the opportunity given by the president of the republic to work on his team.”
Before assuming his post at Conagua, Korenfeld was Secretary of Water and Public Works in the State of Mexico when President Peña Nieto was governor. He began his political career as a councilor and then mayor of Huixquilucan from 2003 until 2006.
He was elected chairman last year of Unesco’s International Hydrological Program and was due to travel to South Korea this week for the World Water Forum.
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