Argentina Transport Minister Dies in Traffic Accident

Argentina’s Transport Minister Mario Meoni died Friday in a car accident en route to visit his family after attending a Cabinet meeting in Rosario, the presidential press office said.

Meoni was driving alone in his government vehicle when the accident occurred on the way to Junin, a few hours drive south of Rosario, the press office added.

In his final tweets, Meoni talked about the visit with President Alberto Fernandez to the largest city of Santa Fe province, where they signed agreements on ports, rail services and other infrastructure investments.

One of the planned projects was an expansion of Rosario’s public bicycle system to create a network of safe routes for cyclists.

“With him we lose a thorough, tireless and honest politician, an exemplary official,” the president said in a tweet. “With sincere regret, I accompany those like me who have loved and respected him.”

Fernandez was expected to travel Saturday to Junin and will preside at Meoni’s funeral, according to the state-owned news agency Telam.

News of Meoni’s death quickly drew tributes, including the Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero, who called him a “great colleague.”

Meoni was born in 1965 in the small town of Ascension. He later served as mayor of nearby Junin from 2003 to 2015. After leaving that role, he was a director of the Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires, before joining Fernandez’s cabinet more than a year ago.

On his website, he talked about growing up as the son of a highway employee and a housewife. He started working at 15 as a glass cleaner at a cafe.

Meoni, 56, was married with two children.

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