Interamerican Development Bank votes out President Mauricio Claver-Carone

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The Inter-American Development Bank, the hemisphere’s leading international credit institution, voted Monday to fire its president. Mauricio Claver-Carone was fired after a unanimous recommendation from the 14-member board of directors, the organization said.

The termination was first reported by Reuters.

In a statement, the IDB said Claver-Carone, whose term was set to expire in 2025, “will cease to hold office as president of the Bank effective Monday.”

The statement made no reference to a well-published investigation into him. Two sources familiar with the probe said it was the results of that investigation that led to the vote. The sources were not authorized to speak about the internal workings of IDB, nor about the results of the investigative report, which has not been made public.

A source said investigators have found evidence to conclude that Claver-Carone was in a relationship with an employee who reported directly to him and to whom he gave pay increases totaling more than 45 percent of base salary in less than a year. Claver-Carone’s leadership of the organization also caused employees to fear retaliation from him, the source said.

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Vice President Reina Irene Mejía Chacón will lead the organization until a new president is elected, the statement said.

The Biden administration seemed to welcome the impeachment of Claver-Carone.

A Treasury Department spokesman said the United States “supports the resignation of the IDB president”. The department said Claver-Carone’s “refusal to cooperate fully with the investigation, and the creation of a climate of fear of reprisals among staff and borrowing countries, has lost the confidence of the Bank’s staff and shareholders and prompted a change in leadership.”

Claver-Carone had previously criticized the nature of the investigation, saying in a statement to the Associated Press that the investigation “did not meet the international standards of integrity pursued by both the IDB and the region.”

He had added: “In clear and direct violation of the IDB’s ethical rules, neither I nor any other IDB staff member was given an opportunity to review the final investigation report, comment on its conclusions, or correct inaccuracies.”

In a statement after the vote, Claver-Carone also claimed without evidence that ousting his position would encourage China, the AP reported.

In June 2020, President Donald Trump announced the appointment of Claver-Carone, then a senior figure on the National Security Council credited by the Trump administration for boosting private sector investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. His election in September marked the first time the United States — by far the bank’s largest donor — has held the top spot in the six-decade-old organization.

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Claver-Carone’s defenders described him as a reformer who ran a long-plagued organization rife with corruption. According to his biography on the IDB’s website, he had “led a comprehensive reform of the bank’s business model” and “oversaw a broad effort to improve operational efficiency, productivity and transparency to achieve better results, impact and monitoring of the effectiveness.”

Critics describe him differently. Investigators said there was evidence that he was having an affair with a National Security Council employee, prompting an official to warn it posed a security risk from counterintelligence, the AP reported. The Biden administration — which has sought to reaffirm America’s relationship with multinational organizations — had said it takes the charges against Claver-Carone seriously.

Michael Shifter, former chairman of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, said Claver-Carone’s lack of high-level diplomatic expertise made him an unusual choice for the IDB role. “There was a fundamental question of how qualified he was, given his background,” Shifter said in an interview. “There was always a cloud, or at least a big demand.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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