Miami's Skyline.
A corruption saga unfolds in Miami. AFP

Allegations and investigations of political corruption in Miami continue. In addition to those involving Mayor Francis Suarez, three of Miami's commissioners are now under federal investigation.

In explosive statements to the local press, former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo stated that "Miami is a corrupt city" and named commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex de la Portilla, and Manolo Reyes.

According to Acevedo, there is an ongoing federal investigation, but he declined to give details because he is a witness. The former police chief said the investigation began when he sent a letter to the Department of Justice in Washington DC.

Acevedo, now the police chief of Aurora, Colorado, said his refusal to be part of the city's corruption, which he once called "the Cuban mafia," was the reason he was fired by the city government.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, seen speaking to reporters on May 29, 2019, is pushing hard to make his Florida city a major technological hub JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

The controversy has been punctuated by the use of lofty words and epithets that reflect the degree of combativeness he has acquired.

Acevedo, who is Cuban-American, later retracted the term used by the island's regime to refer to Miami's Cuban exiles. The commissioners are also Cuban-americans.

On this occasion, Acevedo changed his tune and portrayed the commissioners as "abusers of power, who, like the Castro regime, use power for their own benefit".

He pointed out that the recent conviction of Commissioner Carollo by a Braward County jury had belatedly vindicated the allegations against the administration that he had filed with the federal government.

A federal jury in Fort Lauderdale found Miami City Commissioner Joe Carollo liable in a civil lawsuit brought by two businessmen who accused him of retaliation and returned a massive monetary verdict.

The case was moved from Dade County, where the city of Miami is located, to Broward County to ensure a fairer trial.

The verdict, in which the jury found that Carollo had violated his First Amendment rights, came recently. He was ordered to pay more than $60 million in damages.

The plaintiffs, businessmen Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla, claimed that Carollo violated their free speech rights by using his office to harass them and damage their reputations, all because they supported his political opponent, Alfonso "Alfie" Leon, in 2017.

The plaintiffs used the term "cockroach" to describe Carollo during a press conference at the end of the trial.

Acevedo has always been an unconventional cop. In 2020, as Houston police chief, he stood in solidarity with the family of George Floyd, who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, and even participated in a demonstration to protest the death of the African American.

He also stood out for his criticism of Donald Trump when he was president and for calling for greater control of firearms.

Construction businessman Mario Ramirez told that unfortunately corruption in Latin America seems to have moved to South Florida and especially to the city of Miami.

Mario, who arrived from Nicaragua several decades ago, noted that local politicians are no longer dedicated to serving the community but have become gangs that use power only to satisfy their personal interests.

However, he believes that they have not yet reached the levels of Latin America where even contractors and small businessmen must give bribes to be able to work.

The Commission on Ethics and Public Trust is the institution in charge of ensuring transparency and combating corruption, but its detractors point out that it is made up of officials appointed by those it is supposed to supervise.

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