An article on Salon.com today reports that the private equity firm of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney started with initial investors who were Salvadoran oligarchs with links to Salvadoran death squads. Salon reports:
A significant portion of the seed money that created Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, was provided by wealthy oligarchs from El Salvador, including members of a family with a relative who allegedly financed rightist groups that used death squads during the country’s bloody civil war in the 1980s.The evidence in the article is tenuous at best. Investors in Bain Capital are related to a wealthy man who allegedly financed death squads along with Roberto D'Aubuisson. There is no evidence that Mitt Romney was ever aware of these connections.
Why even mention this? The Salon.com article points out that Romney touts these investors as showing that he is a friend of Latin America:
During his first presidential bid in 2007, Romney more than once touted the Central American investors in Bain while trying to woo Hispanic voters. In a speech in March of that year to the Miami-Dade Lincoln Day Dinner, Romney actually specified five of the original “partners” in Bain Capital — but the de Sola family was not among those he named.I'm not sure that taking money from the corrupt Salvadoran wealthy class to help them make money outside of the region makes someone a friend of Latin America.
And that August he told the Miami Herald, “The investments for the company that I started, Bain Capital, came largely from Latin America. My largest single investors came from El Salvador, Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala. And so I feel a deep kinship to people in Latin America.”
Hat tip to Karen.