Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, traveled 34 times with the adviser with whom he had a sentimental relationship | International | The USA Print

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Uruguayan Luis Almagro, 59, traveled at least 34 times in two years on business trips with an adviser with whom he had a romantic relationship, according to a series of documents. of the organization that EL PAÍS has examined.

Almagro, who took office in 2015, is the subject of an investigation commissioned by the OAS to an external law firm to determine whether the relationship between the secretary general and the organization’s employee was improper and the adviser was promoted within the institution as favored treatment. The investigation is scheduled to conclude by the end of this month.

The OAS Secretary General, who has publicly acknowledged the relationship – which was an open secret within the institution – has always maintained that he did not engage in any type of improper conduct.

The details of the trips, advanced by the Associated Press agency and which took place between 2018 and December 2019, appear in a series of reports that the secretary general presents on his activities outside the institution’s headquarters in Washington to the presidency of the Permanent Council. Although they are public, they are buried in the institution website. In some of them, the entourage listed in the documents includes other advisers. On others -fifteen occasions- only this employee appears as a companion to the general secretary.

In some cases, the cost of the adviser’s trip appears to be covered by the organizers of the events, as occurs in a trip to Cartagena for a meeting of the Inter-American Press Association, in March 2019. In others, such as a visit organized by the University of Pamplona, ​​it is specified that the costs of the general secretary were covered by the organizers, and those of the advisors, by the General Secretariat.

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Among the trips are a visit to the Bahamas in October 2019 to meet with the prime minister of the archipelago, a participation in a seminar in Buenos Aires on populism in March of that year or an intervention in a conversation with young people at the EAFIT university in Medellin Colombia).

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In November, after the OAS General Council approved opening the investigation, Almagro wanted to “confirm and super-confirm” the existence of the love bond, known by “practically everyone.” That relationship lasted about three years – “personally, perhaps the best of my life”, according to the senior official – and had ended several months before those statements.

The OAS code of ethics stipulates that its workers “should not consent to any intimate relationship with another staff member or collaborator interfering with the performance of their duties or representing an obstacle to others in the workplace.”

Almagro is also being investigated on suspicion that he did not adequately protect and fire a former domestic worker who worked at the OAS official residence and who had been assaulted by the ex-wife of the Secretary General. The investigation must determine if Almagro was aware of these alleged abuses and the cause of the dismissal of the worker.

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