Atropello a la Justicia
Caso José María Bakovic

Jose Maria Bakovic
falleció el 12 de octubre , 2013

Ahora se ecuentra en el cielo con su madre, quien le enseñó a amar a Cristo y a Bolivia

Human Rights in Bolivia:
Heartbroken in the High-plateau

A former Principal Infrastructure Specialist at the World Bank, Jose M. Bakovic (JMB), died of a heart attack this past October 12 at the age of 75 as a consequence of almost 8-years of judicial persecution commanded by the regime of Evo Morales Ayma (EMA) and after being forced, by EMA's Interior Ministry, to testify in La Paz at 12,000 feet above sea level despite doctor's objections. JMB had been forbidden by Government forensic doctors to travel to the altitude due a preexisting hypertension condition. In violation of JMB's human rights, a new forensic team, following Government orders, was sent from Sucre to contradict the first team's diagnose and to order Bakovic to travel to La Paz to attend a hearing on one of the 76 cases being sponsored by EMA's Administration against him. (See news clip; Jose Maria Bakovic Dies of Heart Attack). 

Retiring from the World Bank after 17 years of service in 1996, JMB made the mistake to accept a nomination from the Bolivian Congress to become President of the Servicio Nacional de Caminos (SNC) in 2001 –the Bolivian Road Directorate- under a World Bank institutionalization program that intended to isolate the road directorate from the longstanding corruption at the Ministry of Transport. In accepting this position, JMB made the World Bank guidelines on competitive bidding and transparency a cornerstone of public infrastructure projects in Bolivia. During his 4 ½ year tenure, which spanned through 5 different administrations and 5 constitutional presidents, the SNC was able to retain its professionals and achieve independence from political interference. In those 4 years, the SNC was able to build more roads than in the previous 5 decades and to implement innovative approaches that allowed it to improve substantially the transport conditions across the Bolivian territory.

Unfortunately, an ‘honest man' at SNC became an obstacle to the incoming Government of President Morales who in his January 22, 2006 inaugural speech claimed corruption charges at the institution without giving names or presenting proofs . In order to clarify the corruption allegations at SNC, JMB requested an audience -the day after the inaugural speech- with President Morales to take immediate action on the charges. The audience was in vain forcing JMB to present his resignation on February 13, 2006 and to give the post to his main accuser -Bakovic's own finance manager Patricia Ballivian. To make things worse, on March 31, JMB was imprisoned by Evo Morales in a maximum security prison without any due process for 21 days. (See A Venezuelan Rerun in La Paz - Wall Street Journal; Bolivian Witch Hunts - Wall Street Journal).

This violation of Bakovic's human rights of presumed innocence until proven guilty and of due-process caused an immediate reaction from the Bolivian Commission of Human Rights, the People's Defender (Defensor del Pueblo) and the Catholic Church amply covered in the press. JMB never got a fair trial in court-of-law before being jailed.

It may not come as a surprise that 4 weeks after JMB's resignation, the next road project (Uyuni-Potosi) undertaken by the new SNC president was carried out without competitive bidding but rather by a Supreme Decree. And 5 years latter, OAS, the same Brazilian company that got awarded all of the major road projects in Bolivia during Morales' mandate stumbled, while constructing a road through the Amazons, upon indigenous groups that walked out of the jungle to defend their livelihood in a protected park and territory called TIPNIS (see BBC, The Economist, AmazonWatch). The road financed by Brazil's BNDES with Lula's backing acquired the name of Transcocaleira (see Veja Magazine, Estadao, Valor, El Pais, Fides) in the Brazilian presidential debates because it is promoted by the Chapare coca producers of which Morales is still its teamster leader. To date the road has no social or environmental impact analysis done and several people have lost their lives opposing the construction of the road (see BBC video clip).

JMB's imprisonment was clearly politically motivated. He was removed so that the government of Evo Morals could undertake public works projects without competitive bidding or transparency. Nothing new in Bolivia's corrupt road's history.  Below are some links related to the story including a Letter to Pope Francisco begging for his intercession.

Related Links:

Bakovic's letter to Pope Francis:

Carta al Papa Francisco (version PDF - Español)

Letter to Pope Francis (PDF version - English)

A Venezuelan Rerun in La Paz - Wall Street Journal USA


Bolivian Witch Hunts - Wall Street Journal USA WSJ_Bolivian_Witch_Hunts.pdf

Indigenous Bolivians march against Amazon road- BBC

Bolivia: Amazon protesters reach La Paz - BBC

Road Rage - The Economist

Bolivian indigenous leaders denounce human rights violations in Isiboro-Sécure case in Washington

The Transcocaleira Road - Veja Magazine Brazil

Brazil puts its hands in a hornets nest in Bolivia  - Estadao Brazil,na-bolivia-o-brasil-poe-mao-em-vespeiro-,860945,0.htm

Lula travels to Bolivia - Valor Brazil, Veja Brazil

Bolivia: indígenas contra indígenas - El Pais - España

TIPNIS Sobreprecios

Sobreprecios_TIPNIS _FidesNoticias.pdf

Un hombre con dignidad - Former President Mesa Gisbert

Lo Consiguieron  - Father Gramunt Jesuit

Tortura y muerte a Bakovic - Maggy Talavera Journalist

El acoso judicial como sistema - Father Gramunt Jesuit

José María Bakovic Dies; he suffered a heart attack after being forced to attend a hearing at 12,000 feet in La Paz despite doctor's objections

Monsignor Solari: Judicial Process to Bakovic Historic and Severeórico-y-severo.html

José María Bakovic Turigas

( 17  Dic  1938 - 12 Oct 2013)


  1. -Cochabamba, BOLIVIA


  1. -Colegio La Salle de Cochabamba

  2. -Universidad de San Francisco - USA

  3. -Universidad Mayor de San Simón - Cochabamba

  4. -Universidad de San Francisco Xavier - Sucre

Cartas y Documentos

  1. Carta al Papa Francisco 2013

  2. Letter to Pope Francis in English

  3. Carta de Renuncia a Evo 2006

  4. Presentacion a Evo - 2006

  5. JMB Curriculum Vitae

  6. JMB Resume (English)

  7. Sabía usted quien es JMB

  8. Do you know who is JMB?

  9. Carta a Evo Morales de
    ex-colegas del Banco Mundial y BID

Citas Memorables

  1. “Mártir de la honradez y del patriotismo cristiano" - Hermano David del Campo (Institutum Fratrum Scholarum Christianarum - La Salle)

  2. "Bakovic simboliza la judicializacion de la persecución política en Bolivia y la perversion de la (in)justicia" - Alfonso Gumucio.


Isaías 50:4-7

4 El Señor omnipotente me ha concedido tener una lengua
    instruida, para sostener con mi palabra al fatigado.

    Todas las mañanas me despierta, y también me despierta
    el oído, para que escuche como los  discípulos.

5 El Señor omnipotente me ha abierto los oídos, y
    no he sido rebelde ni me he vuelto atrás.

6 Ofrecí mi espalda a los que me golpeaban, mis mejillas a
    los que me arrancaban la barba; ante las burlas y los
    escupitajos no escondí mi rostro.

7 Por cuanto el Señor omnipotente me ayuda,
    no seré humillado.

    Por eso endurecí mi rostro como el pedernal, y sé que
    no seré avergonzado.