Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), addresses the 52nd OAS General Assembly in Lima, Peru, on October 5, 2022. Photo: AP Foto/Guadalupe Pardo.
Last Saturday, the U.S. backed calls for an external probe into a potentially intimate relationship involving OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and a Mexican-born staffer, reported Associated Press. The news comes one month after Almagro confirmed the OAS was conducting an internal investigation into his case, but denied the charge, saying, “I was never a supervisor of any person with whom I had a relationship, I never promoted her and never raised her salary in any way.” The staffer has been on unpaid leave since June. The OAS code of ethics forbids “hierarchical intimate relationships.” The probe follows the dismissal of former Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Mauricio Claver-Carone, who the bank fired this September after evidence emerged that Claver-Carone had engaged in an intimate relationship with a senior staffer.
At least four OAS members—Almagro’s native Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and St. Lucia—have publicly backed draft resolutions that raise concerns about the cost of an external investigation at a time when the organization is under pressure to cut spending. Almagro took office as OAS Secretary General in May 2015—with 33 member states supporting his candidacy along with one abstention—and continued his second term with 23 voting in favor. Previously, the Uruguayan national served as his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2010 and 2015 in the José “Pepe” Mujica administration.