Paraguay’s Alderete was on Hugo Chavez’s Payroll
By: Peter Tase
“The best is yet to come” stated Jose Alberto Alderete’s political slogan of late 2007, in his efforts to win the presidential primaries within the Colorado Party for the upcoming elections of April 2008. No one would have ever thought that Mr. Alderete, Paraguayan Director General of ITAIPU Dam, was financing his political campaign with the petrodollars of Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela at that time who is deceased. The most surprising fact is that President Chavez, a leader of a far left political movement was financing a primaries’ campaign of a far right wing political movement in Paraguay, that of a Colorado Party candidate (Alderete was the president of the Colorado Party – ANR), confirming once again the deep ties of Former President Nicanor Duarte Frutos, Alderete’s former boss, with communist and socialist leaders of Venezuela and Cuba, ten years ago. Latter on Hugo Chavez financed the nationwide presidential campaign of left-wing socialist candidate Fernando Lugo Méndez (a former catholic priest whose popular slang at that time was oro ku’i due to his tremendous ability to quickly gather masses of people in his 2007-08 presidential candidacy national tour). However, the best was yet to come; over the last ten years Mr. Alderete’s net worth had climbed exponentially and his collection of real estate properties was growing remarkably. In 2009, with Mr. Juan Ernesto Snead, his former private secretary when serving as Nicanor’s Minister of Public Works and Communications (2006-2007), Mr. Alderete purchased in cash a 6,000 acre ranch in Paraguayan Chaco. Over the last ten years he has invested large sums of money, of unknown origin, towards modernizing this large cattle grazing ranch; making it a well developed ‘estancia’ with: over seventy kilometers of paved roads, a well equipped private airport with a 1,500 meters runway, built a barbed wire fence and secured fresh water resources through multiple artesian wells.
The Paraguayan Director General of ITAIPU Dam has constantly paid in cash all contractors and suppliers of his ‘Estancia ALFA’, located in the Paraguayan Chaco. Alderete’s stashes of US Dollars were wrapped with bill straps that originated from Uruguayan Banks, and these truckloads full of foreign currency were never declared to the Paraguayan authorities and Central Bank system. According to first hand witnesses, Alderete has paid in cash for the purchase of machinery, cattle, the construction of running water facilities and manual labor.
On November 9th, 2019, a team of Paraguayan investigative journalists revealed that Mr. Alderete, according to witnesses (2011), has been spending large sums of cash towards the modernization of his “Estancia ALFA”, making it a SENACSA certified and a major provider of cattle raised for meat production and a prominent exporter of beef products in the markets of Europe and Asia. It is a fact that Mr. Alderete has illegally amassed a fortune that is way higher than the well deserved personal net-worth of Former U. S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, barely reaching US$ 3 million.
According to Mabel Rehnfeldt, a journalist of ABC COLOR: “only five months after establishing their company, both Mr. Alderete with his business partner Juan Ernesto Snead, paid in cash over US$ 2.3 million for the purchase of their Estancia in Boquerón. It means that in less than a year, two public servants paid in cash over 12 Billion Guaranies (US$2.3 million)”. As a business partner of this deal appears also Antonio Felix Lopez, a Former Paraguayan Ambassador to Spain who invested a merely US$ 200K. The ‘Estancia’ is populated by thousands of Hereford cattle and Charolais Cattle and other breeds, specially nourished for the beef markets of Eurasia; as a result its value is significantly higher.
As the Money came from the Bolivarian Bank accounts in Uruguay, it magically landed directly at the hands of Mr. Alderete, enabling this ‘lucky’ Paraguayan politician to purchase an additional ranch of fourteen acres in Villeta Paraguay, making it a modern vacation spot that even the royal families of Denmark and Norway would covet, with a heliport and all gadgets. Furthermore Alderete was careful to build for his luxurious mansion in Asuncion’s most exclusive residential neighborhood, valued at approximately US$ 1 Million.
As if it were not enough, Alderete is a champion in Paraguay for making the highest monthly salary among all public servants across the nation; his monthly net worth as Director General of ITAIPU reaches US$24,000.00, without taking into account his additional per-diem bonuses, private jets at his disposal and special nutrition treatments and menus that are available daily. Mr. Alderete’s, monthly salary is relatively higher than a monthly income of a Chilean Senator.
On top of this luscious lifestyle, he also makes an additional US$6,000 a month as the administrator of ‘his own ranch’ in Boquerón. According to Paraguayan laws and National Constitution (article 241), it is prohibited for Members of the Executive Branch to maintain two salaries; law forbids working in private and the public at the same time. Furthermore Mr. Snead’s wife, Gloria McCall, was a philanthropist at a time when she made over US$5,000/month.
According to Paraguayan Attorney Gloria Barrios: “the institutional policy of selective ‘corruption investigation’, in respect to the war against corruption led by President Mario Abdo Benitez is worrisome, in the context that only political enemies of this government are prosecuted, investigated by the justice system; however the beneficiaries of impunity from Sen. Fernando Lugo Mendez (former Paraguayan President); Patricia Samudio (Petropar President), all the way to the current Vice President with his turbulent connections and other individuals involved in the Attorney General’s office (that have not generated any advancements on these investigations), as a result Paraguay must institute the policies and firm justice embraced by President TRUMP, who has no compassion even for his close associates (when it comes to the fight against corruption) due to his valiant leadership, the war against corruption in the United States of America is aggressive and successful.”
It is time for Paraguayan Attorney General Sandra Quiñónez to investigate the money laundering practices of Mr. Alderete & Co. and bring meaningful, reliable results to the interest of Paraguayan people so that ‘the worst is yet to come’ for this case and for other public officials robbing their country while ‘stealing thunder’ would enable Quiñónez to outline the case in a way that she can improve the image of her institution and ensure the immediate impeachment of ITAIPU’s CEO.
January 11th, 2019 –
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA