Report: Mitt Romney Founded Bain With Money From Miamians With Death Squad Ties

Nowadays, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has got plenty of money. More than $200 million of it in secret accounts around the world, in fact. But when he launched Bain Capital in 1983, Romney had trouble raising the cash for the private equity project. So he turned to super-wealthy Central American families in Miami and quickly raised $9 million.

But the money was bloody: a handful of Bain Capital's biggest early investors in Miami had ties to Salvadoran death squads, according to a new report by the Huffington Post.

"As Romney now seeks support from the Latino community in his campaign for president, his knowledge of Bain's all-too-few degrees of separation from Salvadoran death squads may become a topic of interest," the authors write.

The article, by HuffPo reporters Ryan Grim and Cole Stangler, adds to past reporting on the subject done by the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Salt Lake Tribune.

Grim and Stangler document ties between Bain Capital's Salvadoran investors -- who Romney personally met with at a Miami bank -- and death squads suspected of murdering leftist union workers, priests, and activists.

The article names a handful of wealthy Salvadorans who had fled civil war in Central America and taken refuge in Miami, including the Salaverria, Poma, de Sola and Dueñas families.

"While they were on the lookout for investments in the United States, members of some of these prominent families ... were also at the time financing, either directly or through political parties, death squads in El Salvador," the article claims. "The ruling classes were deploying the death squads to beat back left-wing guerrillas and reformers during El Salvador's civil war."

The article also quotes political pollster Sergio Bendixen as dismissing the idea that Romney didn't know about his investors murderous connections.

"If anybody tries to tell you there was a line, a Chinese wall, between ARENA [a political party backed by wealthy Salvadoran exiles in Miami] and the death squads, that's just not the way it was," he said.

We emailed Mitt Romney's Miami-Dade spokesman for a comment and will update as soon as we get a response.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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