Amalia Sáez's golden parachute

amalia salario
Donating a day of your salary to a political campaign is nothing when you’ve got a golden parachute waiting.

When I did my 8-D post on my hometown of Barquisimeto, I called then Mayor Amalia Sáez “the worst in history”. Now, weeks after she has left office, she has given all barquisimetanos one final slap.

According to an internal audit done by the new municipal authorities, Ms. Sáez gave herself a good exit package for her five years of service (known here as prestaciones sociales): a payment of Bs.F 1,567,576… millardo y medio of the old bolivares.

Wait, there’s more. Carlos Pereira, who was Sáez’s number two and acted as caretaker mayor right before the local elections (she quit, remember?) also got a good exit payment: BsF 982,314, almost a millardo of the old ones. Pereira has strongly denied such claims.

Sáez’s political reputation had already hit rock bottom thanks to her sudden resignation and the multiple accusations of corruption during her term, including a huge deal made in China (large trip with entourage included) to buy expensive Christmas decorations for the city… which never arrived. This is the icing on the cake. Let’s see how she does in Caracas.

Still, the possibility of an investigation by either the municipal chamber (still controlled by Chavismo), the Comptroller General’s office, or the National Assembly is pretty remote. The current “war on corruption” isn’t much about efficency, but mostly political loyalty.

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  1. To help understand the scale of corruption, could you put the BsF amounts into US dollars using an exchange rate you believe is appropriate?

    Did Amalia Sáez bankrupt Barquisimeto or did this amount just pay for her unused sick leave?

    • 1. I rather leave that to you. Not a fan of math. But it’s a lot of money.
      2. The city isn’t bankrupt (for what I know) but it’s quite a mess.

  2. Well, as far as I see, that is equivalent to 313 monthly salaries for a teacher taking into account the 10% increase for January.

  3. Christmas decorations for the city… which never arrived.
    These were green energy saving decorations you see.

    Srsly, that reminds me of one of the great characters in US Southern literature, Flem Snopes, who while City Manager of a small Mississippi town had his kinsman slowly remove all the brass fittings from the city water system. Naturally he hid them in the city water tower. Snopery, it’s not just in Mississippi anymore.

    • Umm… from

      SNOPES: One of the most pernicious families in all of Faulkner. Led by patriarch (or anti-patriarch) Ab Snopes, a barn-burning sharecropper and former horsethief, the seemingly endless number of Snopes who parade through Faulkner’s fiction, most especially in the Snopes trilogy (the novels The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion) represent an affront in some ways to the “lost cause” aristocratic ideals espoused by Yoknapatawpha County’s leading families, such as the Compsons and the Sartorises. With the planters’ decline in wealth and prestige in the decades following the Civil War, the upwardly mobile Snopeses are best exemplified by Ab’s son Flem Snopes, whose progress from sharecropper’s cabin to town to mansion is charted through the trilogy that bears his name. A partial Snopes family genealogy is available.

  4. OK. I’m coming clean on this: Any comment that mentions or hints parallel rate will be deleted. Why? Because I’m legally liable under Venezuelan legislation, even if the comment comes from someone else abroad. I don’t like this at all, but that’s the way things are. Sorry if this upsets you.

    • Sorry GHA, didn’t realize this was a problem. My point was, yes this is a lot of money for a lot of people, but hardly ‘golden parachute’ money that will allow for retirement in the Cayman Islands

  5. It would be interesting to hear in the coming months how the opposition is able to fare in the mayor’s office. From what I hear in Barinas they started off the year taking down the pictures of Chavez (the pictures of Maduro had to stay, by law) and painting over some of the rojo rojito décor. But the alcaldia was basically left broke. They are starting from ground zero. On the positive side, students seeking a permit to hold a march won’t be asked to pay a bribe anymore. I’m told that and similar practices have changed. I think of it as a taste of what is to come when the national regime falls. The shredders will be going full time, the coffers empty, anything that is not bolted down will be gone, and the price of real estate in Panama will spike.

  6. It might be interesting to learn what ;severance indemnities or exit packages were paid the oppo mayors which in past ocassions lost their jobs to winning regime candidates and how they compare to the exit package paid Mz Saez.and her deputy. Presumably the rules used to calculate those packages shouldnt legally differ so much from each other, if they do and they are very favourable to the exiting regime mayors then one might wonder how legally they justified it.

  7. Imagine this happening in a real democracy with a rule of law.

    How are the poor Chavista masses not outraged? Oh, I forgot, they will probably never know about it. If they do hear about it, they won’t trust the source. Communicational hegemony and all that.


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