Peru's labor minister resigns after allegedly abusing airport staffer

Peru's labor minister resigned Sunday amid an uproar for allegedly roughing up an airport worker as he rushed to catch a departing plane.

Jose Villena's resignation came as a surprise, and he was immediately replaced by Teresa Laos, a lawyer.

On November 27, Villena arrived late at the airport in Arequipa and stormed up to the counter demanding that his plane, already taxiing down the runway, be stopped, according to employees of the airline Lan Peru.

They said he hit one female employee and threatened to have other workers fired as he pressed his case.

Villena apologised Friday, but denied hitting the employee.

However, Peruvian media published a medical report that said the woman had a bruise on her forearm.

Women's groups, human rights organisations and public opinion screamed for the minister to be fired.