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.