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Former Venezuelan Titleholders Accuse Each Other of Corruption

Social media witnessed severe accusations this past week from former Venezuelan titleholders Annarella Bono and Hannelly Quintero to other former Venezuelan beauty queens. They claim there are many former titleholders who were involved with Chavista groups that committed fraud and corruption during their reigns as Venezuela’s representatives. (Read: How Much Does It Cost To Compete In Miss Venezuela? The Cost Will Surprise You.)

Stefania Fernandez and Vanessa Goncalvez during a charity event for the Diego Salazar foundation
Stefania Fernandez and Vanessa Goncalvez during a charity event for the Diego Salazar foundation. Photo: Instagram

The scandal

Annarella Bono represented Anzoátegui at the Miss Venezuela pageant back in 1997. Bono pursued a career in acting and has been a host of numerous television shows in her native country. Hannelly Quintero was crowned Miss World Venezuela back in 2007 and Miss World Americas in 2008.

Both have been accused of being “enchufadas,” a term used for those who receive economic favors from their relationships with government officials. Tired of consistent backlash, Bono declared that they are not the only “enchufadas,” and several former titleholders worked for a foundation dedicated to supporting children in their native country. The foundation’s director, Diego Salazar, is now in prison for money laundering.

Salazar is also a cousin of an ex-president of the Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company, PDVSA. Salazar appears in various pictures with former Venezuelan beauty queens, such as Stefania Fernandez, Miss Universe 2010, and Vanessa Goncalvez, Miss Venezuela 2010.

“They shared with the most needy and in the meantime would fill their accounts with money they would steal from PDVSA”, said former Venezuelan pageant queen Hannelly Quintero.

They claimed that anybody that was involved with Salazar received apartments, cars and other expensive gifts in return. (Read: Osmel Sousa Announces His Retirement from the Miss Venezuela Organization)

The fraud

Venezuelan authorities are currently investigating the corruption behind the PDVSA that caused the country a loss of thousands of millions of dollars and is suffering a severe social and economic crisis. (Read: Former Miss Earth Venezuela to Play Another Former Miss Venezuela in Film)

These declarations also insinuated that the Miss Venezuela Organization was aware of the involvement of their titleholders with Salazar, causing even more backlash and obligating them to respond to the accusations immediately.

“The Miss Venezuela Organization has not and will not maintain any type of relationship with the Diego Salazar Foundation,” they stated.

Will the allegations continue?

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