The current Commander General of the Bolivian Air Force, Marcelo Juan Heredia Cuba, was one of the soldiers who approved the flight of the FAB-046 aircraft on November 5, 2020. This was used by former ministers Luis Fernando López and Arturo Murillo to take off from the country, according to the documentation retrieved from this medium.
November 2020, four passengers, former Minister of Defense Luis Fernando López, former Minister of Government Arturo Murillo, former Minister of Economic Affairs Branko Marinkovic and a Ministry official appeared at the facilities of the “Mixed” Air Group Defense, which is transported from El Trompillo Airport to Puerto Suárez . Departure was at 12:52 p.m.
The document also states that the return flight took place at 4.40 p.m. on the Puerto Suárez-El Trompillo route with the following passengers: former Minister of Economy Branko Marinkovic and the staff of the Ministry of Defense. In other words, former Ministers López and Murillo were no longer on the plane, according to the report released by the commander of the Santa Cruz Mixed Air Group on September 22, 2021.
According to the documentation, the application for this flight was made on November 4, 2020 and on the following day by the then head of the OPS section of the General Staff of the Bolivian Air Force (EMGFAB) and the head of the EMGFAB. approves Operations Division III, which was General Marcelo Heredia, current FAB commander.
This medium tried to communicate with General Heredia but did not respond to the messages.
According to anti-crime information in 2020, Murillo and López left the country on May 5.
Former minister Manrikovic said López had called him for an inspection at Mutún in the Puerto Suárez area and was surprised to see Murillo on the flight because the problem was not from his area.
He claimed that in reality he was the only one with Murillo and López. He denied the presence of a Defense Department official, the report said.
Marinkovic said that López had told him to return from Puerto Suárez to go to the airport and wait for them there, but the then defense and government ministers did not show up. He said he contacted Murillo and told him to start the trip without her.
Marinkovic claimed that it wasn’t until the return flight that he began to think: “This is not how these guys come back.”
As a result of the irregular departure from the country of Murillo and López, the La Paz public prosecutor initiated proceedings against the former migration director Marcel Rivas in the San Pedro prison, who was accused in this case and has since been in preventive detention.
Murillo took the route from Panama to the United States, where he is currently jailed for bribery and money laundering for purchasing tear gas in 2019. On the whereabouts of the former Minister López, the public prosecutor reported in the previous administration that he was in Brazil and they are processing his extradition.
Several legal proceedings and arrest warrants are pending against the two former authorities.
Last week, former President Evo Morales announced that he would hand over documents to President Luis Arce on those who helped Murillo and López escape the country.