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What a surprise. Romney defied his own beliefs to get ahead.

The Huffington Post headline reads: Mitt Romney Started Bain With Money from Families Tied To Death Squads. The article by Ryam Grim and Cole Stangler is a very in depth and lengthy profile into the how Bain Capital got its start. According to the article, In 1983, founder, Bill Bain approached Mitt Romney about starting Bain Capital, a private equity appendage of the consulting firm Bain & Company. After some qualm, Romney agreed. However, According to Huffington Post, the jobs came with a stipulation.

Romney struggled to raise funds from traditional sources of money

When Romney struggled to raise funds from other traditional sources, he and his partners started thinking outside the box. Bain executive Harry Strachan suggested that Romney meet with a group of Central American oligarchs who were looking for new investment vehicles as turmoil engulfed their region.

So after Mitt's initial reluctance, he's going to  do the right thing, right? WRONG!

Romney was worried that the oligarchs might be tied to "illegal drug money, right-wing death squads, or left-wing terrorism," Strachan later told a Boston Globe reporter, as quoted in the 2012 book "The Real Romney." But, pressed for capital, Romney pushed his concerns aside and flew to Miami in mid-1984 to meet with the Salvadorans at a local bank.

It was a lucrative trip. The Central Americans provided roughly $9 million -- 40 percent -- of Bain Capital's initial outside funding, the Los Angeles Times reported recently. And they became valued clients.

"Over the years, these Latin American friends have loyally rolled over investments in succeeding funds, actively participated in Bain Capital's May investor meetings, and are still today one of the largest investor groups in Bain Capital," Strachan wrote in his memoir in 2008. Strachan declined to be interviewed for this story.

When Romney launched another venture that needed funding -- his first presidential campaign -- he returned to Miami.

"I owe a great deal to Americans of Latin American descent," he said at a dinner in Miami in 2007. "When I was starting my business, I came to Miami to find partners that would believe in me and that would finance my enterprise. My partners were Ricardo Poma, Miguel Dueñas, Pancho Soler, Frank Kardonski, and Diego Ribadeneira."

And this
Romney could also have thanked investors from two other wealthy and powerful Central American clans -- the de Sola and Salaverria families, who the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe have reported were founding investors in Bain Capital.

While they were on the lookout for investments in the United States, members of some of these prominent families -- including the Salaverria, Poma, de Sola and Dueñas clans -- were also at the time financing, either directly or through political parties, death squads in El Salvador. The ruling classes were deploying the death squads to beat back left-wing guerrillas and reformers during El Salvador's civil war.

The death squads committed atrocities on such a mass scale for so small a country that their killing spree sparked international condemnation. From 1979 to 1992, some 75,000 people were killed in the Salvadoran civil war, according to the United Nations. In 1982, two years before Romney began raising money from the oligarchs, El Salvador's independent Human Rights Commission reported that, of the 35,000 civilians killed, "most" died at the hands of death squads. A United Nations truth commission concluded in 1993 that 85 percent of the acts of violence were perpetrated by the right, while the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, which was supported by the Cuban government, was responsible for 5 percent.

Response from the team Romney?
When The Huffington Post asked the Romney campaign about Bain Capital accepting funds from families tied to death squads, a spokeswoman forwarded a 1999 Salt Lake Tribune article to explain the campaign's position on the matter. She declined to comment further.

"Romney confirms Bain had investors in El Salvador. But, as was Bain's policy with any big investor, they had the families checked out as diligently as possible," the Tribune wrote. "They uncovered no unsavory links to drugs or other criminal activity."

Again. What a surprise. Romney defied his own beliefs to get ahead. Wait..Mitt has no beliefs.

Can't wait to see what those "Blood Money" ads from team Obama is going to look like.

The Bloomberg News, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, MotherJones, Boston Globe and TPM have all done superb investigative jobs on Romney's tenure at Bain. Yet the D.C. and NY beltway pundits remain silent on the issue of Bain. I guess Bain has deep pockets.

Recommend. Share.

Originally posted to rem123 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 08:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Foreign Relations, America Latina, The Americas South Of The Big River, and The Bain Files.

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