Corrupt, sleazy Latin American politicians are like the proverbial horror movie monster that, no matter how many times you shoot it or set it on fire or run it over with a car, always come back for one more scare. No surprise then that in Nicaragua, eminent ex-presidential scumbag Arnoldo Alemán (1997-2002) has thrown his hat in the ring for 2011.
This is the same Alemán who was convicted of corruption in 2003 for stealing something like US$100 million from a country whose entire government budget amounts to only about US$1.4 billion annually. The Fat Man (as he’s known) got sentenced to 20 years in prison. He only served about two. The rest of the time he spent under “house arrest” on his sprawling estate, when he wasn’t actively traveling around the country campaigning.
Thanks to a “pact” he had made with Daniel Ortega in 1999, Ortega got control of the government and Alemán got a Get Out of Jail Free card. Alemán was released in 2009 after the Supreme Court overturned his conviction for corruption.
Not content with escaping prison, however, Alemán is running for office again. As this kind of breaks the power-sharing pact, the government is going after him again with new charges of corruption. He’s undeterred. Here’s a video of the old charlatan that does a lot to blur the distinction between Alemán The Presidential Candidate and Alemán The Guy Selling You a Used Refrigerator:
Who knows if Alemán will win, but faced with a choice between Alemán and Ortega, the Nicaraguans are definitely the losers. And you wonder why Denmark is pulling its aid money out of Nicaragua.