Legislative and political authorities reported that the Potosí government had purchased 41 ambulances from a sole proprietorship which, despite receipt documentation, were never delivered.
According to El Deber, in 2021 the Potosí Governorate approved “the plan against the outbreak and the third wave of Covid-19” and, on this basis, at the beginning of September issued direct invitations to vehicle importers to acquire 41 ambulances which are sent to all the municipalities of the department be distributed.
The company was registered in the name of Luis Humberto Huanca, who signed the contract with the Potosí government. The company was registered on September 9, 2021, just prior to receiving the invitation from the regional government, with a capital of Bs100,000. The contract value for the provision of the 41 ambulances was Bs 20.5 million, according to Clause 12 of the Protocol of Contract 215/2021 signed on November 26, 2021.
According to a Sicoes report, the deadline for taking delivery of the motorized vehicles was December 31, 2021, as the contract provided Estefals Logistics with a period of 40 days to comply with the delivery. This date also coincides with the acknowledgment of receipt.
The receiving commission declares that it has received the said goods in accordance with the technical specifications,” reads the document, declaring the acquisition process completed “at 17:00 on the day of the date (December 31, 2021)”. There was no handover ceremony that day and the new ambulances were not seen at the Potosí Departmental Health Emergency Coordination Center (Cruem), which reports to the Departmental Health Service (Headquarters).
“There was nothing official and 41 ambulances did not go unnoticed,” said MP Azucena Fuertes of the Puka Sonqo (red heart) alliance, which is opposed to the official MAS. In fact, he figured they would request a report from Governor Jhonny Mamani. “As the person responsible for this important award, he is responsible,” said the state legislator.
In any case, the hiring process was discussed by the members of the Potosino Assembly on October 11, 2021. That day, department management requested the budget be amended to include 20.5 million Bs to “strengthen community health networks with ambulances.” There are 41 municipalities in Potosí and the contract provided for acquiring the same amount
of these “Type I” auxiliary vehicles. The report 017/2021-2022 of the departmental assembly, which was finally approved by the majority of the MAS there, states that the allocation of the budget includes the purchase of five “Type II” ambulances, precisely to deal with the emergency.
“There is a promise. The 41 mayors have entrusted us with ambulances, but to date they have not told us anything at the governor’s office,” said Yocalla Mayor David Chura.
“So far it’s been about ghost ambulances. We have communicated with 38 of the 41 mayors of the department and they have informed us that they have not received these vehicles, they are also surprised by this news,” said the Fuertes legislator.