September 15, 2022, 4:00 AM
September 15, 2022, 4:00 AM
The Bolivian Highway Administration (ABC) is being investigated for alleged acts of corruption. Its president, Henry Nina, and almost a dozen officials were denounced by deputy Héctor Arce, from MAS, for receiving Bs 18.3 million to award the Sucre-Yamparáez highway. Now a new element arises, it is revealed that Vania, the daughter of the attorney general, Juan Lanchipa, works in the road entity for at least 11 months.
This medium spoke with Vania Lanchipa, and with the head of communication of the State Attorney General’s Office, José Luis Tarquino, on behalf of the attorney general. Both admitted that she works at ABC, but maintained that there is nothing wrong with it.
Vania Lanchipa, a lawyer by profession, responded: “I do work at ABC. This is a consultancy that I have had since last year, in mid-August.a task that I perform for short-term contracts”.
Then he added that he hasn’t been working continuously for a year. “It’s about 11 months, approximately.”
When asked if his presence at ABC generates a conflict of interest because his father is the highest executive authority of the Public Ministry that investigates an alleged payment of bribery in that institution, Vania Lanchipa answered “no”.
“Not at all, because the function that I perform at ABC is as a consultant, I have nothing to do with the legal or administrative area, I have nothing to do with contracts, hiring or bidding. I am completely isolated from the events that afflict this institution”he stated.
For his part, Tarquino declared to EL DEBER: “Yes, indeed she is working at ABC. But, first, every person has the right to work and does not precisely choose which source of work. She earns according to her professional abilities and she has training that allows her to look for a job.because he is an independent person who has his family, a constituted home and lives in La Paz, therefore, he is qualified to obtain a position like any other person”.
Until Monday, this case had two people in preventive detention in the San Roque prison in Sucre: the manager of the Chinese company Chec, Jin Zhengyuan, and the former technical manager of ABC, Cristian Mendieta. After a court hearing on Tuesday, both were released from prison and are now under house arrest.
Tarquino opined that “there is no conflict of interest at all. The attorney general acted accordingly. The case is in the hands of investigators from the Chuquisaca Departmental Prosecutor’s Office. The determinations are completely independent. That has been fulfilled, the job of the Public Ministry was to present before a judge all the content of the investigation and of the people involved and the member made a decision to get them out of prison and take them home, a decision absolutely independent of the jurisdictional authority. All this It has nothing to do with Dr. Lanchipa’s work on ABC.”, he justified.
Vania Lanchipa admitted that this investigation has generated a conflict within the institution. “I have received calls and questions about my function here inside. Internally all this bothers me a lot, because they prevent me from developing naturally, normally in my profession”.
He expressed that it is the way in which he supports his home, “which is my son; I am a single mother and these interferences in my private life do harm me”.
The head of Communication of the Prosecutor’s Office stated that he did not know what the specific area in which Vania works at ABC was, “but they are minor contracts.
She is a consultant, she is not even a plant employee, she does not have a sworn statement before the Comptroller. That is isolated from the influence that her work with the Public Ministry may have. They are completely separate things.nothing interferes what she does at ABC with the investigative work of the Public Ministry”.
The lawyer participated in an adjudication. “It was a call launched by ABC. I applied to all the ones I could and thank God I was able to get this consultancy”, narrowed down
He explained that as part of his work, he generally reviews the documentation that enters the national technical area on projects that have to do with the construction, road conservation and socio-environmental sub-management. “I attend the meetings that can be convened by the technical national management, which has to do with coordination with the legal area, about the administration and management of the projects that are already underway, I coordinate with the other areas. So, I review the documentation that comes in, the letters that must be external or internal, depending on the requirements, I schedule and prepare the minutes of the meetings, and a couple of internal procedures that are in the terms of reference and have to be see with my contract.
The consultancy ends the first week of November. Tarquino described this situation as a persecution “of people who have nothing to do with it. The only thing they intend is to damage the integrity of a family and that of a legally constituted person, and that has nothing to do with it. She is completely independent from her father, she is a young professional who has the right to work in both the public and private spheres, “he asserted.
In parallel, a report from the Vice Ministry of Institutional Transparency and the Fight Against Corruption, to which EL DEBER had access, details 14 acts of alleged corruption that were committed in the La Paz regional Bolivian Highway Administrator (ABC)during the year 2021. These events were reported to the president of the road company and the Ministry of Public Works, but received no response.
The complaints mainly point to the former director of the ABC regional office in La Paz, Olguer Alcón. The transparency document states that “all the irregularities and improper acts previously described, 14 in total, are fully known by the Highest Executive Authority (MAE, Henry Nina), who is responsible for taking immediate and timely actions to avoid acts of corruption. On the contrary, the MAE allows and is involved in these improper actions. It is very important to mention that all the actions of the current MAE management must be investigated and reviewed, ”he says.
Recommends “the intervention of audit, transparency units, Comptroller and other instances that assist in the clarification and investigation in the Henry Nina management, for the alleged crimes of improper use of State assets, improper collections for adjudication, payment of payroll and others ”.
On September 10, 2018, during the Government of Evo Morales, the lawyer Fausto Juan Lanchipa Ponce was appointed Attorney General of the Nation with 116 votes out of 152 cast in the Legislative Assembly. So, the Parliament needed two votes to define his election, since in the first round he obtained only 103 votes in his favor out of 105 necessary to obtain the two thirds of valid votes required by law.
His administration ends in 2023 and to replace him, two thirds of the votes of those present will be needed, which the MAS does not have in this legislature, which could lead to a stalemate as was recorded in the case of the ombudsman and the comptroller general.
Lanchipa remained in office during the administration of former president Jeanine Áñez. When the MAS returned to the Government, in principle, he pointed out that this government was transitory and legal, but later he headed the investigations of the cases called Coup I and II. In one of them the former president was already sentenced.
The cases of bribery via the Sucre-Yamparáez route, the alleged fraudulent purchase of 51 ambulances through the Government of Potosí at the beginning of this year, or the accusation against alleged financing of drug trafficking to the MAS campaign were declared reserved by the Prosecutor’s Office.
In the so-called “bribery case”, it was first reported that the reservation would end on September 13. But, it was said that it will be Friday the 16th.