The VIII Summit of the Americas held in Lima this week focused on the problem of corruption in Latin America, which “has serious consequences for governance, economic growth and financing of public services,” according to Martin Vizcarra , the brand new Peruvian president in the opening speech. Vizcarra, a former vice president, has just replaced Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in the presidency, accused of accepting illegal financing for his presidential campaign from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
In all the sessions, the United States has presented itself as a model of transparency . Dozens of US multinationals, from Coca Cola to Wal-Mart, participated in the parallel summit of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and offered themselves as private partners of the states in order to eliminate corruption and promote transparency. . Before his resignation Kuczyniski, a close ally of the United States who speaks English with an English accent, designed the agenda under the supervision of the administration of Donald Trump, who was absent from the summit at the last moment due to the crisis unleashed in Syria.
Several participants in the VIII Summit of the Americas are close to corruption cases
But beyond the speeches agreed with Washington, few in Lima believe that the United States. be the best model for an anti-corruption campaign in latin america. And less in the days of Donald Trump. This was clearly highlighted by the prominent presence at the summit in Lima of the young couple Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, daughter and son-in-law of the American president.
“It’s to die for laughing that Ivanka and Jared are in an event that aims to fight corruption,” said Nomi Prins, a former director of Goldman Sachs who has investigated Kushner. “The United States is presided over by a man advised by his relatives, all of whom have branded companies, franchises that form a global private group that benefits directly from his public role.”
Ivanka, a businesswoman in the fashion industry, has become the media star of the summit. He appeared at the IDB event and at the Lima Stock Exchange where he announced a series of business initiatives to promote the role of Latin American women. Dressed in a designer Altuzarra dress that sells for $ 1,700, was presented at the business summit sponsored by a dozen US multinationals as “a role model for Latin American women.” Vice President Michael Pence praised Ivanka as “a big champion” of women in a speech against corruption during the summit.
Kushner, Trump’s strongman in the White House, has remained behind the scenes of the summit.
But it is known that he has been a key intermediary for the Mexican government of Enrique Peña Nieto through his friend, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgrary, who has accompanied the president to the summit. Videgaray and Peña have facilitated the impunity of Emile Lozoya, the former president, accused of receiving bribes from Odebrecht.
Kushner and Ivanka Trump can hardly be considered a model for the fight against political corruption or against influence peddling. The billionaire real estate agent Kushner, 37, has been accused of taking official visits to Qatar and Beijin on behalf of the Trump administration to seek funding for his battered real estate projects, such as the 666 skyscraper of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which drags a debt of 1,600 million dollars.
Citigroup, one of the sponsors of the IDB’s business summit in Lima, provided a $ 325 million credit to Kushner’s real estate agent in the spring of 2017, “shortly after Kushner had met at the White House with the counselor Citigroup delegate Michael Corbat, “according to the New York Times . The couple has had to review 39 times each income statements to transcend that they had hidden financial assets for several million dollars.
After a series of newspaper investigations into his “public-private” activities, it is speculated that Kushner’s days in the White House are numbered. “Jared is a conflict of interest in human form. How will he not be mixing his public position and the access he provides to maximize the benefits of his family business, “said Prins.
certain relevance for the Summit of the Americas
Ivanka was one of the representatives of the Trump Organization, the president’s multinational real estate, when important investments were negotiated in Latin America. One of them was the Trump Ocean Club luxury hotel and apartment complex, a complex of 70-floor towers in Panama City. The investment, supervised by Ivanka, was carried out with the collaboration of Colombian and Brazilian real estate companies allegedly involved in the laundering of money from drug trafficking. The Brazilian Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, has been investigated in Spain for alleged crimes of money laundering.
In recent weeks, Orestis Fintiklis, the Cypriot partner of the Trump organization in the management of the hotel, has tried forcibly to access confidential documents in the power of the Trump organization, which include information about the financing of the building inaugurated in 2011 under the management of Ivanka. As reported last month by American journalist Marcy Wheeler, a contributor to the New York Times, “the dispute (between Fintiklis and the Trump organization) over the Trump Ocean Cclub in Panama seems to be related to records that can show that Ivanka knew he was involved in money laundering. “
Another issue that is perhaps relevant to the Summit of the Americas is the house in Washington that the Kushner-Trump couple rents for $ 15,000 a month. It is owned by the richest man in Chile, Adónico Luksic, owner of Antofagasta Minerals, the largest mining company in Chile. Luksic has been investigated for tax evasion in collaboration with the current Chilean president Sebastián Piñera, another politician and multimillionaire businessman who participates in the Lima summit.
The Luksic mine in the Sierra Gorda of northern Chile opened in 2011 benefited from a power supply plant built in 2012 thanks to a loan of 10 million dollars provided by the IDB. The same bank has also financed the consortium Expande, a private public mining technology project in Chile, one of whose partners is Antofagasta minerals.