Colombia’s Sergio Díaz Granados will lead one of Latin America’s top development banks after a heated selection process that laid bare the region’s deep ideological divide.
Díaz Granados defeated Argentina’s Christian Asinelli to become the next head of CAF Development Bank of Latin America (Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina), according to a statement on the institution’s website Monday. The election pitted the region’s orthodox governments, like Brazil and Colombia, versus populist leadership in Argentina and Mexico.
Currently Colombia’s executive director at the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank, another regional credit institution known as IDB, Díaz Granados will serve a five-year term at CAF with the chance to be renominated once more. Asinelli will act as vice-president of programming, according to an official at the Argentine government, where he works as deputy secretary for international financial relations.
The vote, which took place in Mexico City, came after CAF’s former president, Luis Carranza of Peru, resigned in March a year before his mandate formally ends. In his resignation letter, Carranza cited political pressures, explicitly referencing Argentine authorities for asking him to appoint a vice-president who he deemed unqualified for the CAF.
Asinelli’s failure to reach the CAF’s top job is another diplomatic defeat for Argentine President Alberto Fernández, who last year unsuccessfully tried to have his adviser Gustavo Beliz become the head of IDB.
CAF provides over US$14 billion in annual financing for infrastructure and other projects in the region. Based in Caracas, Venezuela, it’s made up of 19 member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal.
by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg