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Inter-American Development Bank president faces impeachment vote over misconduct allegations

The main member states of the Inter-American Development Bank are expected to vote in favor of removing the president of the bank, Mauricio Claver-Carone, after an investigation uncovered an undisclosed romantic relationship between him and a bank employee, according to senior officials. of countries with large holdings in the bank.

People familiar with the matter commented that the bank’s shareholders unanimously supported the removal of Claver-Carone after a law firm conducting an investigation for the bank found evidence that he had had a relationship with a bank employee who reported to him. . The investigation also found that Claver-Carone approved a 45% pay raise for the senior employee in less than a year, the sources said.

Claver-Carone could not be reached for comment. In a statement posted on the bank’s website earlier this week, he said he was supportive and cooperative in the investigation. He denied having a relationship with the employee and said the investigation did not substantiate “false and anonymous accusations” made against him in news reports.

“Despite the absence of legal process, I fully cooperated without giving up my constitutional rights,” Claver-Carone added.

For his part, a representative of the bank said he had no information on the vote of the bank’s board of directors. However, people familiar with the situation said the board recommended Thursday that Claver-Carone be removed.

Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American who had served as senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council during the Trump administration, became the first American citizen to lead the IDB, angering governments. of the region since his appointment broke the tradition of a Latin American leading the institution. Before joining the Trump team, Claver-Carone had pushed for a US trade embargo on Cuba. And in the White House, he was a key architect in tightening sanctions on Havana and Venezuela.

In mid-2020, the Trump administration appointed him to head the IDB, a Washington-based multilateral lender that last year made more than $23 billion in loans across the region to support anti-poverty programs, health , education and infrastructure.

The final decision on the dismissal of Claver-Carone will be made by the bank’s board of governors, which is made up mainly of finance ministers from member countries. Member states including the US, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, which together account for more than 60% of the total votes, are expected to approve the impeachment next week, people familiar with the situation said.

“After a thorough, independent, and credible investigation uncovered misconduct that violated the principles and values ​​of the Inter-American Development Bank, and after consulting with partners, the United States supports the removal of the IDB president,” said the Department representative. of the US Treasury, Michael Kikukawa.

Along with this, people familiar with the matter said the United States was concerned about what was seen as a lack of cooperation on the part of Claver-Carone during the investigation, including a refusal to hand over her bank-issued phone and other records.

“Chairman Claver-Carone’s refusal to cooperate fully with the investigation, and his creation of a climate of fear of retaliation among staff and borrowing countries, has lost the trust of the bank’s staff and shareholders and necessitates a change of leadership,” said Kikukawa.

Claver-Carone’s appointment to lead the multilateral lender broke a six-decade tradition in which a Latin American held the presidency of an institution that also provides technical advice to member states.

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