1. To tarnish something, especially someone’s reputation; to debase.
2. To make dirty; to soil.

… Liendo, who was once a conscript, told me, “The military loses respect when you see soldiers selling potatoes and onions at the side of the road.” One hears persistent talk about how Maduro is besmirching the military’s dignity with his economic failures. The subtext is a wan hope that the military will step in, perhaps by forcing Maduro to follow the law and hold the recall election. No one says this in public.

From the post: How Venezuela went from a wealthy South American country to a failing state
Source: Venezuela, a Failing State (