Will Peru Extradite Billionaire Lead Magnate Ira Rennert?

Ira Rennert owns the nation's largest inhabited residence.<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ira_Rennert_house.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>

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A Peruvian judge has threatened to extradite bad-boy industrialist and private-equity bigwig Ira Rennert, according to a recent story in Peru’s La Republica. Since January, the American billionaire has repeatedly refused to travel to Peru to respond to charges of defrauding the Peruvian government in connection with his management of Doe Run Peru, a lead smelter in the Andes that has poisoned a surrounding town.

According to La Republica, Rennert has claimed that he is “too occupied with his business” to address the charges in person. He asked Peruvian judge Martha Flores Gallardo to travel to New York instead.

Though there’s no saying whether Peru will officially try and force Rennert to show up, the judge seems to be taking that option seriously. In a September 5 legal filing, she wrote that a no-show by Rennert “will result in extradition proceedings prescribed by law.”

Rennert doesn’t seem worried. “There is no outstanding arrest warrant, and there is no possibility of one being issued by the court in Lima,” Rennert spokesman Jim McCarthy said in a written statement. He declined to elaborate.

If Rennert were to be extradited, it would certainly burnish his status as America’s most despised billionaire. His haters include Wall Street regulators (who essentially banished him from the securities industry), environmentalists (he once owned the company that manufactured the Humvee, as well as America’s dirtiest mining company), his own investors (who sued him for fraud), and his slightly-less-rich neighbors in the Hamptons (who dislike his 110,000-square-foot residential compound—the nation’s largest—not to mention the industrial-grade helicopter Rennert uses to come and go). For more on Rennert and his copters, read my recent story about upper-class warfare in the Hamptons.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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