The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, is facing an internal investigation after he was denounced for allegedly having a romantic relationship with a subordinate with whom he would have been seen in intimate situations in places public.
The woman would be a woman of Mexican nationality, about 20 years younger than him; The investigation came to light this week, when Almagro and representatives from 34 countries met in Peru for the organization’s annual meeting.
According to agency publications Associated Press, the romance is long-standing and is an open secret, which caused the discomfort of some of the 600 employees that the OAS has; some even said they felt uncomfortable and intimidated having to interact with the woman in question.
The investigation has so far collected about 6 statements from different people, including current and former employees and even regional diplomats.
Two of the testimonies show that they would have publicly kissed in a hotel pool during the OAS General Assembly in Medellín, Colombia, in 2019. Another of the employees described them holding hands in a meeting in the office of Almagro, in 2020.
A former United States diplomat testified that he was told at the OAS that the relationship was what caused the separation from his second wife, around the time that Almagro was seeking re-election in 2020.
violation of ethics
In the middle of the discussion are the OAS ethics guidelines, which say that staff members should not have intimate relationships with other people inside, since this interferes “with the performance of their duties or harms others in work place”.
Almagro has refused to give statements to the press, but an OAS spokesman denied that the secretary general had been the woman’s supervisor, and that since 2019 he has worked in the OAS Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy:
“Almagro never participated in any decision about the interests of this official within the OAS,” spokesman Gonzalo Espariz said in an email sent to AP.