Branko Marinkovic, former minister of economics in the transitional government, told of his last trip to Bolivia, which he made on an Air Force plane with former ministers Luis Fernando López and Arturo Murillo before leaving.
The trip was from El Trompillo Airport to Puerto Suárez on November 5, 2020, days before Luis Arce was in possession. As is known, López and Murillo used this flight to reach the border with Brazil and to leave the country irregularly.
In an interview with Erbol, Marinkovic said that López had implied that the trip was an inspection of the Mutún in the Puerto Suárez area and assured him that he knew nothing of the “real intentions”.
He said Luis Fernando López called him during the final days of Jeanine Áñez’s presidency to conduct the inspection of the Mutún. He stated that he consented to this activity because of the importance of activating the facility.
However, when he boarded the FAB plane for the trip, he was surprised to see then-government minister Arturo Murillo on site, as the issue of reciprocity was not native to his area.
“I went to Trompillo, I got on the plane with him (López). I miss seeing Minister Murillo and he said to me: ‘I’ll go with him, I have nothing to do,'” said Marinkovic.
He pointed out that he had carried out the inspection at Mutún and had spoken to customs officials. Then López told him to return to the airport while he and Murillo would go “to the Navy for a while”.
“I went and waited with the pilots and it was getting late, the air force pilot said to me, ‘Look, Minister, if we don’t leave in 10 minutes, El Trompillo will be closed because of the problem that El Trompillo is not doing.” Night operation, ”said the former Minister of Economic Affairs.
He said that given the urgency of the return trip, he called the government minister and told him to take the flight alone while he and López would find a way to return.
“I called Minister Murillo and he said to me, ‘Just go, we will go to Roboré with Fernando or we will look for her,'” he said.
After this trip to Puerto Suárez, it is believed that Murillo and López left the country.
Marinkovic confirmed that he was unaware of López and Murillo’s intentions to leave the country, nor of the military personnel who were on the flight at the time.
He remembered that it was only on his return flight that he thought that Murillo and López would not return.
“I followed along as was my role as minister, but other than knowing that these people would not be returning to the country during my term in office, it didn’t cross my mind until I took the flight alone and said, ‘Get out These guys won’t come back, “said Marinkovic.
“Neither I nor the Air Force pilots needed to know their real intentions,” he added.
According to a report by the “Mixed” Air Group, the flight to “Support the Defense Ministry” took place on November 5th and confirms that Marinkovic, Murillo and López were on the outward journey, but the last two were no longer present on the way back.
From Brazil, Marinkovic emphasized that only the presence of Arturo Murillo seemed strange to him at the time, as he had nothing to do with the customs issue.
“I said to Arturo: ‘What do you have to do with it?’ (He replied) ‘No, I’ll go with Fernando.’ Well, I don’t have to ask any more questions, let’s say no, “recalled the former economics minister.
Finally, it regrets that it is for this reason that it is intended to prosecute the military who carry out their work in the absence of an illegal act.
“You cannot blame me for accompanying the minister in a role that we had to perform. The Air Force pilots followed instructions from an incumbent minister,” he said.
There are several proceedings and arrest warrants against the two former authorities Arturo Murillo and Luis Fernando López.