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22Apr13

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The contradictions of Walter Ferrufino's defence worsen


We refer to our report of 18th April in a note entitled "The courts ratify the indictment of Walter Ferrufino for failure to comply with the right to consultation". In this brief report, we said the following concerning the defence of Walter Ferrufino when it responded to the charge that he failed to comply with the Constitutional Judgement issued in a case concerning the APG IG:

    "Notwithstanding that the only purpose of the hearing was to establish cautionary measures, the defence lawyer of Walter Ferrufino Gaite, the well-known attorney from Tarija, Doña Mónica Ugarte, tried to argue for the "innocence" of the official using reasoning which is incompatible with the practice of law and which ethically violates the accused's right to a defence by using false doctrinal arguments which could in some cases, even be considered esoteric.

    The first of these arguments is that Walter Ferrufino does not have the power to execute agreements, and therefore, that it was beyond his competence to comply with the right to consultation which is only within the power of the Governor Lino Condori, to whom the official is subordinate.

    Given the level of evidence submitted by the APGIG, this argument leads the case into dangerous territory given that if this were to be the case, Walter Ferrufino would have committed the crime of usurpation of powers by signing public contracts on behalf of Governor Condori.

    Following this argument, given that Walter Ferrufino would have acted under the orders of Governor Condori, his liability would be greater as compliance with manifestly illegal orders, as well as lack of compliance with a Constitutional Judgement would not exempt him from liability. If that were not enough, these arguments would attribute Governor Condori with responsibility for the same criminal act as that committed by Walter Ferrufino, resulting of necessity in his indictment.

    The legal argument also ignores Law 007 of the Regional Assembly of Tarija which gives powers to all officials at the level of the position held by Walter Ferrufino, as this hierarchical position only exists in Tarija and is not envisaged by the New Political Constitution of the State (NCPE).

It now appears that three days before we published this note, on 15th April, an event took place which demonstrates that the defence of Walter Ferrufino has a serious problem in relation to the evidence used to defend the accused against the criminal accusation of breach of duties; given that, as we said in that note, either he has full powers to sign agreements or he is committing the crime of usurpation of the powers attributable to Governor Lino Condori.

The event to which we refer is the subject of an official press release of the Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy published on 14th April 2013 in which it is stated:

    "One of the first tasks carried out in the offices of the Ministry of Hydrocarbons [in Tarija] and Energy was the execution of the agreement between the National Electricity Enterprise [Empresa Nacional de Electricidad - ENDE], represented by its managing director Hugo Villarroel, and the Sectional Executive of Entre Rios, Walter Ferrufino, of the Province of O'Connor, to instal an Electric Sub-station allowing the connection of the region to the National Interconnected System [Sistema Interconectado Nacional - SIN] to enable permanent and continuous electrical energy supply in a secure form for the development of this province".

The courts will determine which of the two types of criminal conduct most properly describe the conduct of Walter Ferrufino and whether it affects Lino Condori.

The official information of the Ministry of Hydrocarbons is reproduced in its entirety below to facilitate the understanding of this matter.

[Source: Radio Nizkor Editorial, Guaye and Charleroi, 22Apr13]


Walter Ferrufino signs an agreement with ENDE to instal an interconnecting electrical sub-station

The Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, Juan José Sosa, has stated that the office of the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy which was inaugurated on Sunday 14th April will be a technical office. "This office will be purely technical and will be able to inform accurately about what is going on in the area of hydrocarbons as well as on the subject of electricity. I spoke with President Evo Morales before taking this decision and we agree with the way the hydrocarbons and electricity sector is functioning." This office is seen as a requirement to keep the people of Tarija informed on all matters concerning the hydrocarbon and electricity sector from both a legal and a technical perspective.

In the act of inauguration, President Evo Morales congratulated the initiative of Minister Sosa, "it is important that the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy has an office in Tarija---- but we should end the idea of a "tenant State" and the next step should be to buy an office in order to provide the people of Tarija with timely technical information" stated the first minister.

At the same time, he asked the Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy to persuade the energy operators to establish similar offices in the department of Tarija which would be able to inform on all the activities they are carrying out in the Department.

One of the first tasks carried out in the offices of the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy [in Tarija] was the execution of the agreement between the National Electricity Enterprise [Empresa Nacional de Electricidad - ENDE], represented by its managing director Hugo Villarroel, and the Sectional Executive of Entre Rios, Walter Ferrufino, of the Province of O'Connor, to instal an Electric Sub-station allowing the connection of the region to the National Interconnected System [Sistema Interconectado Nacional - SIN] to enable permanent and continuous electrical energy supply in a secure form for the development of this province.

"In the context of the Bicentennial Plan 2025 the participation of the various sectors and actors of Tarija and Bolivia is essential. It carries enormous responsibility and we must think about future generations with a policy of development planning and of poverty elimination. And this office will certainly contribute to these tasks in the Department of Tarija" concluded President Evo Morales.

[Source: Ministry of Hydrocarbons, La Paz, 15Apr13]

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