Bain Capital's Ties to Salvadoran Death Squads
Jon Wiener on July 19, 2012 - 1:55 PM ET
Some of the first investors in Mitt Romney’s firm Bain Capital, according to a report on the Los Angeles Times, were Salvadoran families living in Miami with members accused by the US government of funding death squads in the brutal civil war in El Salvador.http://www.thenation.com/blog/168967/bain-capitals-ties-salvadoran-death-squads#
When Bain Capital was founded in 1984, Romney and his partners had trouble raising funds for their initial investments. “$9 million came from rich Latin Americans,” the Times reports, “including powerful Salvadoran families living in Miami.… At the time, U.S. officials were publicly accusing some exiles in Miami of funding right-wing death squads in El Salvador. Some family members of the first Bain Capital investors were later linked to groups responsible for killings.”
The civil war in El Salvador lasted from 1980 to 1992 and killed more than 70,000 Salvadorans. It started after Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated while giving a mass shortly after he published an open letter to President Carter asking him to cut off US military aid to the Salvadoran military regime.
The Times reporters found no direct evidence that the accused Salvadorans themselves “invested in Bain or benefited from it”—it was “family members” of Bain investors who were linked to the killings.
Romney himself made a trip to Miami in 1984 to raise money for Bain from the Salvadorans. “The group included some of El Salvador’s wealthiest people,” the Times reports, including coffee exporters Francisco R.R. de Sola and his cousin Herbert Arturo de Sola. His brother, Orlando de Sola, according to the Times, was “suspected by State Department officials and the CIA of backing the right-wing death squads, according to now-declassified documents.”
(It gets even uglier).