The MP demands the trial of the former Deputy Minister of Health in the Chimaltenango Hospital case
The Anti-Corruption Public Prosecution filed before the Tenth Instance Criminal Court, headed by Victor Cruz, the official indictment document and the request to open a trial against Gerardo David Hernandez García, former Deputy Minister of Health, as well as against two others involved in a case of irregularities in the procurement of supplies and equipment for the Chimaltenango Hospital.
Along these lines, the Public Prosecutor’s Office requests the prosecution of Hernandez García, who served as Deputy Minister of Hospitals in the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), for fraud.
The investigating authority requested that the former director of the hospital, Gerardo Arturo Fuentes Rubio, as well as the legal representative of Voltar Intermedia SA, Luisa Fernanda Villagran Méndez, be brought to trial for the same crime.
In principle, the representative wanted the health officials and Villagran Méndez to face justice for the crimes of influence peddling, illegal associations and fraud, however, on March 24, Judge Cruz decided that they should only face proceedings related to the last mentioned crime.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office indicates that, in their capacity as Deputy Minister and Director of the Chimaltenango Hospital, Hernández García and Fuentes Rubio, respectively, between 19 and 30 December 2022, they intervened in the stages of order request, publication of the electronic offer, award and purchase order. And payment of purchases made through the implementation of Unit 237 at the hospital center.
According to the MP’s investigation, 770 purchases were awarded through the direct purchase method with electronic offer, which sought to provide supplies with guaranteed services for the hospital that will be opened in 2023.
With this in mind, they called for a meeting in which the staff who worked in the health portfolio and the National Hospital in Chimaltenango would participate in the different stages of the procurement process.
However, during the meeting, officials lobbied for the awards to be awarded to the Voltar Intermedia Sociedad Anónima entity, which is represented by Villagran Méndez, the legal representative.
As detailed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, 67 million 737 thousand 291 Qatari riyals were paid, however, the terms of reference provided, namely the warranty service, were not met, while the immediate delivery of 580 pieces of equipment was excessive and was not complied with, Her location at the National Hospital in Chimaltenango has not been determined.
The hospital is part of Giamatti’s promises
Chimaltenango Hospital is part of the seven hospitals that President Alejandro Giammattei confirmed he would build during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the hospital was not opened until 2023 with funding from Taiwan, at a cost of US$22 million.
Related: Final phase, at a cost of US$68 million: Giamatti’s government began construction of two hospitals
Nearly four months after leaving office, the Giamatti administration began construction of the Chiquimula and Solola hospitals, for which it received US$68.7 million.