Brazilian Police have arrested Bolivian aviation official Celia Castedo Monasterio who in 2016 approved the flight plan of Lamia flight 2933 which resulted in the killing of most members of the Chapecoense football team.
Monasterio was an official of the Administration of Airports and Auxiliary Services to Air Navigation of Bolivia and the flight plan showed that the pilot knowingly took off from Viru Viru without enough fuel to face any unforeseen event.
She was wanted by Bolivian prosecutors investigating the fall of the British-built Avro RJ85 4-engined jet carrying players to Medellín, Colombia, for the Copa Sudamericana final against Atlético.
According to Bolivian authorities, the woman was a fugitive who had sought refuge in Brazil and is now pending extradition following Federal Superior Court (STF) Justice Gilmar Mendes's warrant for her arrest.
Mendes wrote in his August 26 ruling that Monasterio was wanted by the Bolivian Justice to answer for the alleged practice of the crime of attacking the security of airspace.
According to Brazil's Federal Police, Monasterio “was a specialist in flight safety and, at the time, would have fraudulently failed to observe the minimum procedural requirements for the approval of the aircraft's flight plan, since, in the program presented, the flight range was not adequate for the trip.
The official was responsible for approving the flight plan submitted by the plane's captain, which clearly challenged the aircraft's fuel capacity and subsequent autonomy, leaving no room for contingency maneuvers, which seems to have been the case on November 29, 2016, when the plane was put on hold for landing at Medellín's José María Córdova airport after another airplane had claimed priority clearance.
The captain of the Bolivian chartered flight, instead of admitting his critical fuel condition and face the legal consequences, chose to try his luck, which he had already pushed beyond all limits.
Monasterio had been living since 2016 in Corumbá, Brazil. She had even had her asylum request renewed, citing persecution” in Bolivia after the accident, which resulted in 71 deaths. She will now stay at a Corumbá jail, pending extradition.
On November 28, 2016, a flight to Medellín, Colombia took off from Santa Cruz, Bolivia (Viru Viru airport). On board was the football team Chapecoense together with coaching staff and journalists. They were bound for Medellín for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atlético Nacional.
The aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed 17 kilometers from Medellín's José María Córdova airport, killing 71 of the 77 people on board. Only three players, two crew members and a journalist survived.
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