|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | Bolivia

Bolivia's Morales Replaces Head of State Oil & Gas Co YPFB Amid Corruption Probe
YPFB has had six presidents in three years.

LA PAZ -- Bolivian President Evo Morales on Saturday replaced the head of state energy firm YPFB (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos) amid an investigation into a corruption case.

Planning and Development Minister Carlos Villegas was brought in to replace Santos Ramirez after Morales held an emergency meeting with his Cabinet that began early Saturday.

Until Friday night, the outgoing head of YPFB had enjoyed the full backing of the socialist president, but Morales said in announcing the "emergency" move that the new head of the state firm will intervene and carry out an "economic, financial and legal auditing" of YPFB to investigate the accusations of corruption.

The scandal erupted Tuesday when Bolivian businessman Jorge O'Connor D'Arlach was killed and robbed of $450,000 as he was entering a home that, according to different sources, belongs to relatives of Ramirez's wife, Jovanna Navia Doria Medina, also a substitute lawmaker with the ruling Movement Toward Socialism party.

O'Connor's firm, an Argentine-Bolivian company known as Catler Uniservice, signed an $86 million contract last July with YPFB for the construction of a natural gas processing plant in the eastern province of Santa Cruz.

According to allegations by opposition leaders and the police cited in the local media, Catler Uniservice received a first installment of $4.5 million for the project a few days ago, and the amount stolen from O'Connor may have been a bribe related to the contract.

Morales said investigators already know the origin of the stolen money and "now the task is to find out where it was going" and who was going to benefit from the cash payout.


"Comrade Santos Ramirez has the obligation of defending himself before the Bolivian people" and the different judicial and legislative entities investigating the matter, the socialist president said.

In a press conference Friday, Ramirez denied any involvement with the corruption case, but he also said he could not speak for the supposed relatives of his wife implicated in the scandal.


Villegas had served a previous stint as YPFB head prior to being named minister of the planning and development portfolio in September.

Ramirez had been charged with implementing Morales' 2006 "nationalization" of Bolivia's fossil fuels, a measure that involved requiring the - mostly foreign - energy firms to convert their Bolivian operations into minority partnerships with YPFB, which has had six presidents in three years. EFE


 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2019 © All rights reserved