Why was Reina Irene Mejía Chacón elected interim president of the IDB?

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) / AFP

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) / AFP

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) confirmed on Monday the official dismissal of its president, the Cuban-American Mauricio Claver-Carone, and announced that he will be replaced on an interim basis by the Honduran Queen Irene Mejía Chacón.

In a statement, the institution indicated that its assembly of governors resolved that Claver-Carone will cease to function as president, “effective September 26, 2022”, following the “unanimous” recommendation of the bank’s Executive Board.

He added that, according to its regulations, it will be the executive vice president, Reina Irene Mejía Chacón, who will act as president of the bank under the direction of the Executive Board until a new president is elected.

Read: The president of the IDB is dismissed after a love affair with a subordinate

The IDB stressed in its note that it will continue “operating normally, to fulfill the mission of improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Previously, a source from the bank had revealed to Efe that the IDB Board of Governors had decided on Monday to dismiss Claver-Carone, as a result of the love affair he had with a subordinate.

The source indicated that the governors of the assembly – made up of ministers of economy, finance or directors of central banks of the 48 member countries of the IDB – voted for him to leave the institution.

From now on, a period of 45 days will be opened for countries to present their candidacies.

Since last Friday, the governors – who are the ones who approve the appointment and removal of the president – have been voting on whether they want Claver-Carone to leave his position for having broken the bank’s rules, which prohibit intimate relationships between superiors with people who depend directly on them.

Claver-Carone was chosen to head the IDB in September 2020 at the proposal of the then US president, Donald Trump (2017-2021), a decision that generated controversy because he was the first non-Latin American president.

Read: IDB Board Voted in Favor of Claver-Carone’s Removal

The removal comes after an investigation made after an anonymous complaint. The case was uncovered last week, when an investigative agency presented a report to the members of the institution’s executive board.

The report was also presented to Claver-Carone himself, who continues to maintain his innocence and assures that there is no evidence to confirm the relationship.

As explained by a source who had access to the document -also leaked to some media outlets-, the conclusions clearly show the president’s personal relationship with a worker, who received large salary increases in recent years.

Also read: The position of the IDB president falters after an investigation against him

Her interim replacement, Mejía Chacón, was appointed executive vice president of the IDB in December 2020 and before joining the institution she had worked for almost 25 years at Citibank Honduras.

Among other positions, she was president of the Board of Directors of Citicrédito and Citi-Inmobiliaria and secretary of the Board of Directors of Banco de Honduras since 2014. In 2017, she was secretary of the Board of Directors of Grupo Financiero Citibank Costa Rica.

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