Can honest men be trusted?: The rule of law and personal integrity in Puerto Rico
Over the last decade, men who had been placed in position of political authority and social trust misused these positions, either for personal gain or towards ends which were not harmonious with the public good. The first time I heard Victor Fajardo was at a televised interview. He gave such an impression of public integrity that one would have expected him to be in the list of canonized saints, rather than confined prisoners he ended up becoming. Manuel Diaz Saldaña, publicly acknowledge as a member of the Opus Dei, buried his angelic character when it came to light the grave conflicts of interest between his position as General Controller and his position in the 1990s infamous "Privatization Committee". Finally, when Pedro Rossello ran the first time for public office, he truly did seem to represent a new direction in public governance. It was a hope vanished when his administration turned out to have the highest number of officials successfully charged with corruption, including Yamil Kourie and the infamous AIDS Institute. (Luis Fortuño, with his ties to George Bush, the Republican Party and local corporate interests, seems headed in the same direction.) Certainly, public vice has been known throughout all of history, and hence not unusual in any society, be it socialist, communist, or capitalist. However, what is perhaps most disappointing (and surprising) is that these men chose to forfeit their public image of trust and integrity, raising the question "can seemingly honest men be trusted"? We might tentatively conclude that, what ultimately counts after all, is what we actually do now rather than what we promise we will do at some future date.