The Bolivian government has called on the Spanish company GPA Innova, the supplier of the 170 respiratory protective devices that were examined for cost overruns, contract termination and the return of the 2.2 million dollars (1.8 million euros) to the Bolivian state, which were paid for in advance .
The Bolivian Minister of Justice, Álvaro Coímbra, stated that the company responsible for the manufacture of these devices reported that “it will be able to fail to comply with some sections” beyond the criminal procedure, “which the GPA asked Innova to to withdraw from the contract and to return the first part of the payment.
Coimbra has stated that in return, the Bolivian state will return these respirators acquired in late May, the scandal of which came after finding that the Bolivian government paid more than USD 27,000 per respirator to the Spanish GPA Innova when their market price would be approximately US 7,000 -Dollar. Another Spanish company, IME Consulting, acted as an intermediary.
The immediate aftermath was the dismissal of Health Minister Marcelo Navajas, who had barely been responsible for the health portfolio for a month, who was arrested and placed in preventive detention, as well as the arrest of other people who were involved in managing the purchase of equipment not for prepared to treat the most serious COVID-19 patients.