Government Says Carlos Mesa Must Return $ 42.6 Million for Quiborax

The Justice Minister, Iván Lima, assures that the former President and Leader of the Civic Community (CC), Carlos Mesa, will have to repay the $ 42.6 million paid by the government to the Quiborax company for a retrial because of the damage during his tenure. In the political field, they point out that this issue is a kind of blackmailing of the head of the opposition party.

“All of these monies that have been paid, those $ 42 million, are the result of the fact that he violated the law and decrees he made. If I had followed the nationalization process as it was done, we would not have had these problems, ”the agency said in contact with the media.

He added that “the person who caused the damage was Carlos Mesa under his law and decree. Whether through a civil lawsuit or a criminal lawsuit, the state must reclaim the money it paid and Mr Mesa is responsible for the money that the Bolivian people have lost.


The process of accountability approved in recent days by the Joint Constitutional Commission against Mesa for the Quiborax case has been labeled by the ruling Movement to Socialism (MAS) as blackmailing CC to make accountability workable against the former interim president make Jeanine ñez.

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The Chairman of the CC Bank in the Chamber of Deputies, Carlos Alarcón, recalled that the $ 42.6 million was paid during the tenure of former President Evo Morales and that the then attorney and attorney general was responsible for the loss of the Tarbit Trial, Héctor Arce, Attorney General Pablo Menancho and Mining Minister César Navarro.

“The goal is to put pressure on this case, which doesn’t hold an inch against Carlos Mesa, and to obtain approval of liability proceedings that interest the MAS, using the Quiborax case as a bargaining chip, the biggest fraud of the century. it was committed against the Bolivian people, ”said MP Alarcón at the time.

In 2004 the Mesa government canceled the concessions to the Chilean company Quiborax after an audit for non-compliance with the investments or the utilization plan.

Super negotiated

In light of Minister Lima’s allegations, Alarcón said this was the big business of the century. In arbitration, it settled for $ 1.8 million, then went up to $ 3 million, and the state under Morales’ administration finally paid $ 42.6 million.

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He pointed out that documents on the case had been leaked to the Chilean side during the Morales administration.

“Evo Morales’ government coexisted in this arbitration with the opposing party’s attorneys who served in the attorney general’s office and to whom they passed classified information in defense of the Bolivian state,” he said.

In time?

Political scientist Patricia Velasco agreed with Alarcón insofar as the MAS ruler would use this case to put pressure on Mesa and his party to get 2/3 of the legislature to approve the trials of former President Áñez.

“In the previous administration, the MAS was 2/3 and didn’t need any assistance to approve the trial of Mesa, why didn’t they?”


In July 2018, then-Attorney General (PGE), Pablo Menacho, reported that in the 12 years the trial took before the International Center for Investment Disputes Settlement (ICSID), $ 1,853 had been spent in the three law firms that operate the country defended in the Quiborax case.

In his opinion, the amounts spent by the state are less than the average cost of international arbitration, which reaches $ 8 million.


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