On February 2, 2022, a hearing will be held in which the Public Prosecutor’s Office against Corruption will ask to dismiss the criminal prosecution in the case of the Pampa III planes, which Guatemala sought to buy from Argentina during the government of Jimmy Morales.
According to the Office of the Prosecutor against Corruption, “there is no punishable act to pursue” and “it was not possible to prove that the purchase” of the planes was negotiated, during an official visit by former President Jimmy Morales in July 2019.
Morales arrived in Argentina at an invitation from his counterpart Mauricio Macri, to discuss commercial issues, but he highlighted the visit they made to the Military Aircraft Factory (Fadea) in Córdoba, where a preliminary evaluation would be carried out for the purchase of aircraft.
On July 3, 2019, the executive director of the state company Fadea, Fernando Sibilla, assured that the agreement with Guatemala had been closed to “supply two Pampa III aircraft”, and it was known that US $ 28 million would be paid (about Q215.8 millions).
President Macri also confirmed the sale of the aircraft, which he described as “a milestone”, as it was the first time that Fadea exported aircraft.
“Today we received the president of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, and we closed the sale of two Pampa III aircraft,” Macri wrote.
Today we received the President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, and we closed the sale of two Pampa III aircraft. It is the first time that FAdeA has exported aircraft produced at its facilities. A milestone. pic.twitter.com/zDzcYnQEq4
– Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) July 3, 2019
However, in Guatemala, the Executive authorities were not clear with the details of the acquisition.
Jafeth Cabrera, vice president, assured that no negotiations had been made.
“It is a process and upon settlement, the purchase proposal will be transferred to the Ministry of Finance for the corresponding purchase, but it has not been purchased and there is no budgetary consequence at the moment,” said Cabrera.
In addition, Defense Minister Luis Miguel Ralda was questioned on July 9 about the process and assured that it was not a purchase, but an “acquisition”.
Ralda indicated that due to the presence of narco jets in the country’s airspace, the acquisition of aircraft was necessary.
“The terms of a sale do not apply here, because it is an agreement between states,” he said.
Read more: “It is not a purchase, but an acquisition”, the answers of the Minister of Defense that left more doubts about the purchase of the Pampa III
“It is not a sale because the international agreements do not contemplate the sale as such, it is an agreement for the manufacture and supply of an air defense system,” he said at the time.
After legal actions against President Morales and the procedure, on July 19 the Constitutional Court issued an injunction against the president in which it ordered him to “refrain from acquiring the Pampa III aircraft.”
The resolution indicated that the Government had to exhaust the requirements indicated in the national laws to be able to acquire the aircraft, since the Comptroller General of Accounts had already indicated that the Ministry of Defense should suspend the purchase.
On December 6, 2019, the then head of the Office of the Prosecutor against Corruption Stuardo Campo revealed that several cases were being investigated in which former President Morales could have been involved, including the negotiation of aircraft.
However, the Public Ministry later affirmed that “there was no detriment to the patrimony” and that it was “analyzing the legal solution that would be given to the investigation at the time.”
– MP from Guatemala (@MPguatemala) December 2, 2019