After opening an investigation in the Organization of American States (OAS) for the romance between its owner, Luis Almagroand a junior official of the institution, it was learned this Friday that the Uruguayan would have used funds from the entity to travel more than 30 times with his lover to different tourist spots.
In 16 of these trips, to destinations inside and outside the United States, where the organization is based, Almagro he traveled alone with the woman of Mexican origin, indicate the documents published by the organization. In others, he did it with her and also with other advisers of hers.
The relationship between Almagro and this worker, who appears in the documents under the title of “advisor”, is being investigated by an external company that it must present a report with its findings to the Permanent Council of the organization at the end of this month, as approved by the plenary session of the body.
The documents, which give an account of the trips that Almagro made in 2018, 2019 and 2022, are part of a report from performance accountability of the Secretary General who appears every four months to the Permanent Council.
In 2019, Almagro traveled 38 times, of which 10 he was only accompanied by the official. At least five of those transfers were financed directly with OAS money.
Between the trips where the two of them were alone there was a three-day visit to Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, in August 2019 to participate in the 95th Regular Session of the Inter-American Juridical Committee and a trip to four days to Oxford, United Kingdom, for a conference on Latin America in October 2018.
The Almagro environment ensures that trips do not compromise OAS standards
In a statement sent to the EFE news agency, the OAS assured that these trips did not imply no breaking of the rules of the organization.
“The Secretary General insists on all previous statements on this matter that no OAS regulations were violated due to the measures he and his team took to ensure that all regulations were complied with,” he said. Gonzalo Esparizone of the spokespersons for the organization.
The OAS has denied that Almagro had a hierarchical employment relationship with the official, since they assure that she did not work for him directly, but that she responded to another secretariat within the organization.
However, in these travel reports and in some publications on the organization’s social networks, it appears named with the position of “advisor” to the secretary general.
OAS officials and former officials consulted by EFE confirmed that even Almagro himself presented her as his adviser and that the sentimental relationship between them was known to “everyone” within the organization.
In turn, the “adviser” received successive promotions within the agency during the time he had a sentimental relationship with Almagro, according to internal agency documents.
The OAS has ensured that these promotions were “according to regulations and were administered for her the same as for all personnel.”
The investigation into Almagro’s sentimental relationship
The firm that investigates Almagro, the law firm Miller & Chevalierbased in Washington DC, must deliver the March 31 a final report with its findings to the Permanent Council.
The research, which will cost you more than $100,000 to the organization, is focused on whether, within the framework of the sentimental relationship, Almagro violated various OAS regulations. Specifically, the regulations in relation to supervisory functions, salary increases and intimidation.
The Uruguayan, who has led the OAS since 2015, confirmed last November that he had maintained this relationship for three years, defended his actions and said that he hopes that the investigation “will have the best result.”