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Romney Scrutinized over Bain’s Ties to El Salvador Death Squads

Republican candidate Mitt Romney continues to face scrutiny over his record at the private equity firm Bain Capital. The latest controversy to surround Bain concerns how Romney helped found the company with investments from Central American elites linked to death squads in El Salvador. After initially struggling to find investors, Romney traveled to Miami in 1983 to win pledges of $9 million, 40 percent of Bain’s start-up money. Some investors had extensive ties to the death squads responsible for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of deaths in El Salvador during the 1980s. The investors include the Salaverria family, whom the former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White, has previously accused of directly funding the Salvadoran paramilitaries. In his memoir, former Bain executive Harry Strachan writes that Romney pushed aside his own misgivings about the investors to accept their backing. Strachan writes: "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."

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