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EX-PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION.

Former President Arnoldo Aleman diverted at least US$5 million in donations from friendly countries and loans from international financial institutions aimed at helping Nicaragua recover from Hurricane Mitch, according to an official audit cited by the local press, reports EFE News Agency (Jan. 27, 2003). Managua daily El Nuevo Diario reported that Aleman diverted millions of dollars in donations and loans from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank to his administration's coffers. The newspaper also reported that before leaving his post, former U.S. Ambassador in Managua Oliver P. Garza said he had no knowledge of what became of the US$100 million his country donated to Nicaragua in the wake of the devastating 1998 hurricane. Aleman, who was stripped of his legislative immunity on Dec. 12, is under house arrest at his ranch south of Managua awaiting trial on corruption charges. The former president is also accused of diverting US$1.3 million from Nicaraguan state television and another US$10 million from 15 state institutions to Panama, a figure that could balloon to US$97.2 million as new evidence comes to light, according to authorities.

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Title Annotation:Arnoldo Aleman, Nicaragua
Publication:Caribbean Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:2NICA
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:194
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