Thursday, November 13, 2008

Salvadoran court protects one of country's wealthiest citizens

I have written earlier about the case of Valat International Holding, which has been pursuing a judgment of $30 million rendered against on of the wealthiest families in El Salvador. Now the Miami Herald reports on a ruling in the Salvadoran courts which smacks of favoritism:

The Supreme Court of El Salvador has ruled that Oscar Antonio Safie Sacarias, one of the richest and most influential men in El Salvador, does not have to pay a $30 million judgment ordered by a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge.

The Salvadoran ruling also covers several of Safie's family members, and has been met by accusations of manipulation and favoritism.

In the United States, warrants have been issued for the arrest of Safie and the family members.

They are accused of being in contempt of the Miami-Dade court, and they could face perjury charges for saying they had no bank accounts in the United States, according to court documents obtained by El Nuevo Herald.

Safie is a Salvadoran media and textile mogul.

He owns of one of the most prominent hotels in El Salvador's capital, San Salvador. And he is the first cousin of El Salvador's attorney general, Felix Garrid Safie.

In October 2006, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer ordered the Safie business group to pay $30 million to Valat International Holding, an Irish financial firm that had arranged through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to purchase and restructure the debt of the failed Hamilton Bank. (more)


Anonymous said...

is the judge "Mindy Glazer" related to the US ambassador to El Salvador, Charles Glazer????

sideliner said...

I echo anonymous. That was the first thought that popped into my head when I read the article. I appreciate that Glazer is so righteously anti-corruption. Maybe this case is part of the reason. The sad thing is that corruption is like breathing for people with money in El Salvador. It appears that most have forgotten that you can make money with honor, but that it just takes more effort. I like heretics anti-corruption bomb idea.

expatwizard said...

Corruption is like breathing for those with money from China to Russia to the USA to México (always has been the most endemically corrupt nation in Latin America. I live in El Salvador, have seen gringoes resident in other Central American countries point the finger here (Guess El Salvador became a scapegoat due to bad press and publicity) I helped stop "Enron" (gringos and salvadorians)from taking millions out of our country some years ago. I don't know how some of you arrive at your conclusions, since I moved here to El Salvador from Guatemala in 1994, have seen a long line of Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Isaelis, Asians, et. al. come to El Salvador, make fast money "without honor" and skeedaddle. Again demonizing any group of people to me is dead wrong, I once told a foreigner about my Mom's Great Uncle by marriage, Benjamin Bloom, the philanthropist who donated his fortune in the late 1940s to build teh Children's Hospital which now bears his name, but no this person said Bloom was a "criminal" (another 'sabetodo' know it all who has never even visited El Salvador) since the Hospital is run by the Salvadorian govt. Ministry of Health. Only helped thousands of children...
Many of the resident ex pats and long term volunteers here in El Salvador perform small acts of kindness..priceless
Toxic any in your life or online..dump em
'Life in the Tropics' If your heat's not in it, get your a-- out and hide behind your PC and write "brilliant bloqs". Saludos.

marce said...

Corruption exists everywhere, this is true, but it does not exist at the same levels, and I believe an objective evaluation will find that corruption exists in a higher degree in contemporary El Salvador than in the United States. Ignoring this fact won't make it go away. There is very little accountability for any wrongdoing in El Salvador, but especially for those with money or those in the government. I witnessed this firsthand during my two years living in El Salvador.

To avoid nationalistic concerns that may cloud reason, let me say I don't think the U.S. is a "better" country than El Salvador. The United States has done more to dismantle international law than any other country in the world during the last decade. To pretend as though El Salvador doesn't have corruption problems though, is putting nationalism over reality, and prolonging reform.

expatwizard said...
Endemic in El Salvador and the REST of Latin America for the same reasons. A Chilean-Salvadorian periodista friend of mine told me long ago Mexico, Central and South America 'same sh-t, different smell'. Now insteading of whining come down light a candle against teh darkness and help to help or perform small acts of kindness, and as well smile and keep smiling, I avoid ideolouges, they usually don't have a sense of humor!

Anonymous said...

Corruption varies in degrees but is found at all levels in El Salvador. The correct approach is zero tolerance.