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In historic, lakeside Granada, Nicaragua, tourists strolling along La Calle Libertad come upon a blue Colonial-style building with a small sign reading, "Salon La Libertad." On a recent afternoon, a lanky Cuban-American woman with short blond hair and intense blue eyes chats on her cell phone inside. Her business card identifies her as Ana Solá, a professional stylist and the salon's owner. Tucked between a store selling handmade bracelets and the home of the local Catholic bishop, Solá's salon offers haircuts and manicures to visitors enjoying sweeping views of Lake Nicaragua.
What her customers don't know, though, is that Solá is really Ana Sol Alliegro, the most sought-after woman in Miami. Ever since she allegedly skipped out on an FBI interview September 6, the 43-year-old, self-anointed "Republican bad girl" has not been seen or heard from except by close relatives, her defense attorney, and former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, the man whose career sank with an only-in-South Florida scandal tied to Alliegro.
The feds say she's a key witness in a probe into whether Rivera broke election laws by secretly financing a ringer against his bitter rival, Joe Garcia, in the 2012 Democratic primary. Alliegro allegedly ran that ringer's campaign and ferried envelopes stuffed with unreported cash to a company making promotional materials.
Through multiple sources, New Times confirmed Alliegro had landed in Granada. Confronted on her cell phone, Alliegro agreed to speak to New Times, telling her side of the story for the first time. She strikes a defiant tone, insisting she did nothing wrong, denying she skipped out on the FBI, and promising to spill everything she knows whenever she decides to return to the States.
"I am not a fugitive," Alliegro tells New Times. "I am tired of being depicted as one."
Instead, she compared herself to the title character played by Adam Sandler in the 2008 movie You Don't Mess With the Zohan. "He was a spy for the [Israeli intelligence agency] Mossad," Alliegro says. "All he wanted was to cut hair like Paul Mitchell and make people feel good. That's how I feel."
Alliegro's story is equal parts personal drama and political intrigue. The latter runs in the family.
Her grandfather was the president of the senate in Cuba during the Fulgencio Batista era in the 1950s. Her uncle, Miami attorney Alfredo Duran, fought in the Bay of Pigs, spent 18 months in a Cuban prison, and served as chairman of the Florida Democratic Party from 1976 to 1980. Alliegro's dad, Anselmo, made a failed bid for the Florida Legislature in 1998. Anselmo, who worked as a security consultant, allegedly helped train the Contras — the U.S.-funded rebels fighting the Soviet-backed Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 1980s. (Anselmo denies it, saying he only assisted "a small group of well-intended persons attempting to achieve a democratic transitional government in Nicaragua.")
Alliegro, who was born March 7, 1970, grew up in Miami's Shenandoah neighborhood and graduated in 1988 from the private Immaculata-La Salle High School. Her love affair with conservative ideology started young. "As a kid, I had a George H.W. Bush watch," she recalls. "All my life, I have fought for the GOP."
Alliegro always paired her staunch politics with a stormy personal life. Her first marriage came a month after graduation, to a man named Alexander Niebla. Their union lasted seven months, ending in a January 1989 divorce, but they married a second time later that year. The couple had a daughter, but in January 1992, Alliegro divorced Niebla.
Her first runs for public office, aided by her then-boyfriend, state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, were halting and unsuccessful. Separate 2001 campaigns against state Rep. Carlos Lacasa and county Commissioner Rebeca Sosa both ended in defeat.
Her personal life didn't fare much better. After breaking up with Diaz de la Portilla, in 2003 she married Moshe Cosicher, a developer 20 years older; she was his fifth wife. Two years later, he filed for divorce, and Alliegro filed a domestic violence complaint. Those files weren't available by presstime, but Alliegro says he threatened her with a knife. "He beat the living bazooka out of me," she adds.
In January 2007, though, it was Alliegro who was arrested for allegedly holding Cosicher hostage at gunpoint. A police report states that after he refused to fly to Las Vegas to get remarried, she grabbed a .45-caliber pistol. "If you think your [dick] is powerful, this is mine," Alliegro allegedly said before firing a round into the ceiling. (Cosicher, who didn't respond to New Times' calls, later refused to press charges.)
Alliegro now claims Cosicher set her up. "If I am pointing a gun at you, wouldn't you run the hell out of there?" she asks.
Regardless, things only got worse for her. In 2009, the year she married her third hubby, former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo, cops busted her for allegedly shoplifting a pair of $29.99 sandals. The charge was later dropped, but Carollo divorced her after just 83 days. A former cop, Carollo claimed in court papers he was afraid of Alliegro, who had "become irrational [and] abusive." "The husband genuinely fears for his safety," his attorney added, noting her use of "illegal narcotics and prescription pills."