Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon takes an even closer look at the relationship between controversial Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra and the Clinton Foundation. This time, she reports that a company in which Giustra owned a major stake received a $150 million loan from the taxpayer-funded International Finance Corporation (IFC) to build a port and pipeline in Colombia. The loan was made despite IFC concerns about the project’s social and environmental impact. From the story:
Within the next few months, two for-profit companies were created in Cartagena. One was a job-training center to teach locals how to work at the port. The other was a food supplier that helped support fishers and farmers by selling their products to hotels and supermarkets.
Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra launched both companies using funding from the Clinton Foundation’s Colombia-based private investment fund, Fondo Acceso.
On November 23, Goodman reported on the existence of the Fondo Acceso, an unregistered private equity fund. Its “investors” include Giustra and Mexican oligarch Carlos Slim. Following her story, the Clinton Foundation yanked down the Fondo Acceso website.
From the story:
Ethics watchdogs questioned the timing of the projects, noting that they appeared to benefit the donors’ financial interests. Giustra, a close friend of Clinton’s since 2005, co-owned Blue Pacific, which was a primary investor in the Pacific Infrastructure port project at the time.
Ken Boehm, director of the National Legal and Policy Center, said it appeared that “Giustra’s financial interests addressed the serious questions about his project’s significant adverse effects by promising benefits through companies funded by the Clinton Foundation’s secretive Colombian so-called private investment fund.”
“This looks a lot more like a sweetheart deal for Giustra rather than anything resembling a legitimate charity,” said Boehm.
In photo: Slim, Giustra, Clinton