LatinNews Daily - 27 May 2020

In brief: Pandemic procurement under investigation in Bolivia

* Bolivia’s comptroller general’s office has announced that it will conduct an audit into all purchases made “within the framework of the Covid-19 [coronavirus] pandemic” at all levels of government, following an ongoing political scandal regarding the purchase of 170 ventilators at a greatly inflated price (US$27,683 per unit, well beyond the US$8,756 quoted by the manufacturers), which saw health minister Marcelo Navajas put in preventative detention pending trial for three months on 24 May. The national federation of health workers (Fensegural) and main trade union movement Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) alleged on 25 May that corruption through the purchasing of medical supplies with significant surcharges is a widespread problem, leading Comptroller General Henry Ara to launch a broader investigation.