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News > Bolivia

Bolivia: Añez Summoned To Declare On Ventilator's Alleged Scam

  • Montano said President Añez was allegedly aware of the deal.

    Montano said President Añez was allegedly aware of the deal. | Photo: AFP/Jorge Bernal

Published 27 May 2020

According to lawmaker Edgar Montano, Bolivia's higher echelons knew about the deal.

Bolivia's de facto President Jeanine Anez and Foreign Minister Karen Longaric have been subpoenaed for testimonies regarding corruption crimes during the state procurement of Spanish ventilators, lawmaker Edgar Montano said on Wednesday.


Bolivian Health Minister Arrested After Corruption Scandal

"This investigation will summon Jeanine Anez, Longaric, and other officials involved in this procurement that became a theft from the pockets of all Bolivian people," Montano announced. 

According to Montano, President Añez was allegedly aware of the deal, a purchase that she ordered, and publicly announced herself. 

Last week the scandal became public. The government spent more than $27,000 on each of 170 Spain-made devices, while Bolivian producers had previously offered a price of $1,000 per unit. 

Longaric's response to MAS accusations

Also, frontline medical workers fighting COVID-19 in the country complained that the overprized ventilators purchased in Europe did not match the WHO standards, due to their lesser quality.

"I pledge to pursue this investigation against those who have committed corruption in the purchase of ventilators, and that every penny will be returned to Bolivians. I will continue to work to equip our hospitals with transparency," Añez posted on Twitter on May 20, a few hours after Bolivia's health minister Marcelo Navajas was arrested and dismissed from his post due to the scandal.

Also, the parliament's commission investigating the case expects Longaric to explain why no action was taken after the disclosure of a report underlining the contract's details, submitted by the Bolivian consulate in Barcelona, a report the chancellery order days ago. Longaric denounced that the accusations against her are being articulated by Movement to Socialism (MAS) in retaliation for having fired almost 180 of its officials.

Until now, Bolivia's death toll stands at 274, with 677 patients recovered out of 7,136 positive cases.

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