Ghost items: who benefits and where does the money go?

In the past few weeks the country has been the scene of a scandal over allegations of corruption with the creation of “Phantom Items and Contracts” in some ministries. Lawyers and analysts claim that this practice is common in public administration and that these illegal acts are chain-linked because of the number of people involved. These affect parties and governments.

That illegality broke out because of a family problem with a married couple that affects the Santa Cruz de la Sierra parish, an entity that is expected to have 800 ghost officials and many more.

As the investigation progresses, there have been reports of similar cases in the Warnes community, with the Drinking Water and Sanitation Service (Saguapac) at the National Health Fund.

In addition, there are voices saying that these illegal acts also took place at the Autonomous University of Gabriel René Moreno

According to analysts, this illegal activity is closely related to political activity.

“Political corruption consists in the fact that a person who exercises a public function violates a norm in order to obtain an advantage for himself or for an advantage of a social or institutional group”, they refer to the so-called objects or contracts an act of the ghost Represent corruption.

The lawyers point out that the designation of “Phantom Items or Contracts” does not reflect the reality of the events, since those involved in these illegal acts are real persons and that the only victims are people, as both those who participated in the act it involves corruption and those who accept it have some level of criminal responsibility.

“There are no ghosts; These articles are faked by real people who contact people and offer salary percentages to loan their dates for a specific position. Therefore, by assuming they are part of this illegality, which endangers the resources of the treasury, they are people’s money, ”said defense attorney Ever Vera.

He added that an investigation would reveal the pot without any political undertones, as “they were used to provide economic support to the government and parties because there are quite a few citizens”.

Constitutional lawyer and analyst Paul Antonio Coca claims that this is an ongoing practice because the people who come to power use it to their advantage, their environment, their party or others.

“This is absolutely nothing new, but of course it’s huge now because there are social networks and such. This is due to two main issues: first, the vulnerability of the control systems so that these people do not work; in the second aspect, it is an absolute example that if a political party is in power for a long time it violates the whole process, ”he said.

He argued that the public function serves to enrich oneself and to perpetuate certain party situations.

For economist and former leader of the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) Lucio Gonzáles, this edition of ghost items did not exist in the past, but what has now been discovered is truly a scandal as it shows that elected authorities benefit from power.

“Congregation members, councils, MPs, senators, ministers reach government levels at both national and departmental level for the sole purpose of benefiting and enriching themselves,” he said.

He recalled that as the COB leader, the administration of the National Health Fund, which reported at least 23 phantom elements that the executive would like to link with the transitional government, was transparently handled with responsibility because it was not by political power or the ruling party was co-opted.

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“With perks, with leaders associated with the MAS, their managers, the workers’ health administration has been damaged; Before responding to the working bases, they must do it now before the ruler, ”he said.

He added that the MAS had committed a number of illegal acts, such as the creation of ghost towns or perhaps ghost works in the case of the former Indigenous Fund, a millionaire corruption case from which the misappropriated resources were not recovered.


According to the reports, the State Department is investigating 800 possible ghost items in the Santa Cruz community and another 1200 that may have occurred during Angélica Sosa’s tenure.

This crime touched Saguapac because the entity provides services to people involved in the crimes of the Santa Cruz Mayor’s Office.

In this context, 47 cases relating to the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) were reported in Warnes parish, but which the government does not consider to be of major importance.

The CNS also reported that there would be at least “23 ghost contracts” in these crimes.

The President of the CNS Board of Directors, Marcos Salvatierra, made it clear in this case that these are not phantom items, but rather “phantom contracts”, as the items are given to permanent staff of the institution.

According to CNS Transparency, a complaint was filed on October 29 by a nurse who, in January 2020, submitted her professional résumé to then head of CNS Human Resources, Alexander HE, for access to a contract; They never called her, but according to what was posted on AFP Futuro, someone was getting an alleged salary from March to October.

The professionals reported to the transparency office because they could not collect the hunger bonus.

A second case was brought to the prosecutor’s office on the 17th a year he collected his fortune without having a contract.

It should be noted that there are another 23 observed contracts that are being investigated to determine if they are phantoms or not.

According to Salvatierra, the ghost contract irregularities occurred while running two former CNS managers appointed by authorities in Jeanine Áñez’s government.


The council of the mayor’s office of Cercado for the MAS, Joel Flores, took advantage of this constellation of phantom articles and contracts and announced that there would be phantom cases in the parish and in the parish council.

“We have unofficial information that there are complaints that some citizens are hired by the mayor’s office but never work in the offices, but rather perform physical security work on executive and local council assets,” he said at his moment.


In addition to the National Health Fund, possible phantom objects were also reported at the Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno, so the rector of this study house announced an examination of the contracts for teaching and administrative staff, study leaders, project premiums, equipment and others.


Citizen Community (CC) MP Luisa Nayar tabled a bill on the clean recruitment system for civil servants on Friday after the case of ghost items was exposed in Santa Cruz.

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“We are introducing this project to curb corruption,” said Nayar.


As the investigation into ghost items in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra parish progresses, it becomes clear that certain units had their quotas.

According to Fedrico Morón City Councilor of the Autonomous Community (CA), more than 4000 observed attitudes were identified after reviewing the records, but these ghost cases were supported by various higher education institutions.

Two modalities were identified in the observed contracts: those that never showed up to record attendance and those that came only once to sign attendance for the month.

In return, Ever Mérida, director of legal affairs at the Santa Cruz mayor’s office, confirmed that the “ghost items” had also reached the Barrabrava of the Oriente Petrolero Club.

“It is known that (…) a large number of (people) have been recruited from the Bar Oriente Petrolero,” he reported, indicating that they were “responsible for (commanding) the shock groups.”


In July 2006, the Quillacollo Citizens’ Committee condemned the existence of “ghost items” in that city’s mayor’s office.

“In the municipality of this city, 14 kilometers from this capital, there are phantom objects in three specific cases,” said the authorities at the time.

Vladimir Alvarez, President of Civil Society, stated, with papers in hand, that Daniel Soliz Choque and Orlando Tapia Rojas are contract workers in the community who “never went to their sources of work except to collect their pay slips.”

In addition, there is the elected MP of the 26 constituency belonging to Quillacollo, Pedro Marca Zambrana, who also appears on the municipal lists.

“We demand transparency, there must be no cases that cloud an institution that includes all quillacolleños,” said the chairman. Daniel Soliz shock.



Constitutional lawyer Paul Antonio Coca pointed out that the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) is using smoke screens to get people to forget about issues that concern them, such as the Gabriela Zapata case.

“This ghost item is the best thing that happened to MAS to get people to stop talking about the Gabriela Zapata case. So people have forgotten Gabriela Zapata and are concentrating on what this case of ghosts is, ”he explained.

He added that despite investigations, the economic damage caused will not be compensated.

“I very much doubt that the economic damage can be compensated, but politically it served to make people forget the Zapata case, so that other cases like that of Pumari and even that of the former President Áñez are even forgotten because of the pressure of the Population exists “to determine and for other communities that have suspected cases to be investigated,” he said.

According to the lawyer, the MAS is taking advantage of different circumstances from the situation, “but the party will use them very well by taking advantage of the circumstances”.

“For example, in the community of Warnes, in which the MAS is involved, ghost objects have come to light, but they will not have a major impact because they do not fit politically with the MAS, that is, they are not deepened,” said the constitutional lawyer Coca.


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