More Upheaval at River Plate Adventist University

River Plate Adventist University (Universidad Adventista del Plata), the Seventh-day Adventist University in Entre Rios, Argentina, has announced the replacement of several senior leaders as repercussions of a smuggling scandal continue.

The university has been at the center of a legal inquiry into charges that university leaders in concert with the Argentina Union Conference and local ADRA personnel attempted to smuggle millions of pesos worth of electronic goods into the country without paying import tariffs.

See Also: “Smuggling Scandal Leads Argentine Adventist Leaders to Resign.”

In the fallout from the scandal, the Argentina Union replaced President Carlos Gill Krug and union Treasurer Carlos Giménez Graf. The union also accepted the resignation of legal representative, Roberto Giaccarini, who had been involved with ADRA for many years.

According to a video statement from President Carlos Gill Krug issued before his resignation, River Plate Adventist University saw two leaders step aside in order to facilitate an inquiry into the alleged smuggling, Rector Oscar Ramos and Vice-rector Jorge De Sousa Matías.

A notice posted on the university’s website on March 2nd named three new administrative appointments.

“On March 1, the Board of Directors of Adventista del Plata University named Ivan Heinze as the new Vice-Rector of Financial Economics, a name that emerged from a proposal by the Superior Council to replace Rubén Boidi, who resigned,” the statement said (translated from Spanish).

According to the statement, Heinze, a native of Viale, Entre Ríos, is a professor of Economics and a public accountant. He most recently served as treasurer of the Central Argentine Conference (AAC). He is married to Ileana Weisheim and has two children: Alessandro (7) and Candelaria (5).

The board also appointed Guillermo Casali as the new head of Financial Management and Ariel Romero as the director of Strategic Technology Initiatives.

River Plate Adventist University did not respond to questions about the appointments, specifically whether they were directly linked to the ongoing investigation of alleged smuggling involving Adventist Church leaders.

Jared Wright is Southern California Correspondent for Spectrummagazine.org.

Image Credit: Universidad Adventista del Plata website.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7910

This is a horrible situation, but it’s great to have someone doing some valuable investigative reporting…shining a light on the situation. I’m praying for a more honest and transparent future for the administration at RPAU. Thank you, Jared/Spectrum!

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Sad spectacle. Ezra ripped out his beard when he heard of the sins of the “leaders in Israel.” Much prayer, repentance, Reformation needed. Mercy yet lingers.

a shame and a blight , certainly not the way th e Lord works, so how can it be said, This i S the Lord’s work.

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Let’s pray for our brethren during this difficult time .

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And what would we pray for? That they repent of their sins, or that they don’t experience the full consequences of their sin, or that they have courage in facing their sin. Or do we pray that all unrevealed sin remains hidden.

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LET US PRAY!

Bill – Great Questions.
Regarding Tariffs: – during my opportunity for a trip through some Cent.Amer. countries in summer of 1964, some of the natives said tariffs on Automobiles was 100%. Purchase a $2000.00 vehicle and have to pay the gov’t another $2000.
People making $1 [US] a day could not afford that. Don’t know what it is today.
Many Gvts are greedy and make it difficult for common people to advance. But that is GOOD. It keeps them enslaved. That makes for stable governments.
That is why “in charge” persons fear the masses becoming too wise. This happened in Cent. America murdering a priest during Mass. Happened with mean behavior toward Black Leaders in the 60’s in the US. Eventually the killing of many white and black persons.
In Ala a black man was trying to make good with his family. Was ambitious. Ended up having several businesses. He was shot, and left on the side of the road for the wild animals to eat. A white seminary student from Boston was shot with bullets meant for a black female youth in front of his store. Asking to purchase soft drinks. Turned himself in the sheriff. Declared NOT GUILTY by his white peers. Recently at age 91 was interviewed. Said he would "do it again if he had the opportunity."
People make up nations. Fear keeps some people from not wanting others to "move out of their place in society."
Technology will do this. The Internet and learning will make people restless with the thoughts of doing more. Sense of wanting a perceived “freedom”. Can’t have that and maintain enslavement.
That is why pre-Civil War it was against the law to teach slaves to read and write.

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i’m not sure this case is a real breach of morality…it seems more about circumventing greedy government officials - who were probably looking to annex the tariffs for themselves - for the good of the students of the school…do we know whether the government of argentina is not corrupt…in fact Transparency International ranks argentina as the fourth most corrupt country in the world: e.g., one of argentina’s supreme court justices has owned six apartments that have been run as brothels, and 81% of the country believes law enforcement is ineffective against crime:

http://politicsandpolicy.org/article/corruption-argentina

does obeying laws that only feed corruption really advance the cause of morality…rahab lied to jericho’s officials because she knew they were looking to kill israel’s spies…would telling the truth to them and having the spies killed have honored or dishonored her conviction that israel’s god was the true god…her inclusion in Hebrews 11’s hall of fame is probably based on the fact that her lie to save the spies gave evidence of her faith…in a similar vein, god blessed shiphrah and puah after they lied to pharaoh in order to save the baby boys born to the hebrews…my guess is that UAP probably didn’t have the money to pay the tariffs on the equipment they needed, and perhaps they had no reason to believe that any tariff funds collected would be used for any earthly good…and something tells me ADRA is familiar with argentina’s issues and has done this type of thing before…

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Again, I am embarassed about the harsh words beating those who have tried to do good for the “Higher SDA Education” by contributuing equipmement and material at a reasonable cost. (Or was anyone accused making profitable business for his own wallet ?)

Jeremy Vandieman is quite right when mentioning “greedy governmnet officials”.

I rememeber times far back . Central Europe was just after 1945. The US generously helped - with the means of dear fellow believers, who donated as much as they could. Then one Us - Dollar officially was rated with ATS 10 - ,two small cones of cheap icecream. The Black Market rate was one US - Dollar = ATS 100. - ( ! ) Brother J. J. AItken arrived at the British Army airport wit a suitcase stuffed with US - Dollars. The suitcase then was hidden in my fathers attic - far out of Vienna, the Interntional Zone, the government control, deep in the Rusian zone- and in safer moments the not registered contents were sold for - as I rememeber - ATS 80. - the Dolar. This was a service to the donators and a blessed help for the local Union of SDA and its believers.To stabilize the national currency and economics with OUR dollars, donated for evangelism ? That would have met the donators will ?

Morals ? SIns ? - Are we obliged to feed greedy robbers ?

PS :I personally know the director of finances of an enterprise constructing and building power plants in foreign countries. Well , get the order, but only when you place a number “Constructing machines” on the bill - delivered are S - Class Mercedes ! Business Argentinian style !

Are you just aware how and under which threats on freedom and life ( !) and false declarations religious - SDA - material was brought across the Iron Curtain ? And if we here in Austria would have exchanged the Dollars sacrificed by dear fellow believers - we just could have bought a little wooden shelter. An how was it in Africa ?Then in Colonial times and now with the “independent republics ?” Or in Vietnam before the war there ?. And “The Last Days in Saigon”, reported then in “Spectrum” ? With fake marriages of indigenous nurses to US physicians to save their lives, and then bribing the military control posts with the last Dollars they had to get to the airport ? And the relief to have a marine who can handle his gun, securing the access to the plane ?

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So, if it’s perceived that there have been several accounts of some corrupt government officials, and even in high places, screwing the people, then it’s okay to screw them back? For “the good of the students”? And, you’re not sure if that’s immoral? Is that like a “If you can’t beat them, join them”? I guess that any excuse will do.

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We are talking about money here NOT saving people’s lives, Gerhard. We also do not know if the goods were intended for the University or were for personal use but that is irrelevant.

It always fascinates me that SDAs in the USA like to decide that they are judge and jury about the rights and wrongs of laws in other countries and seem to feel that is OK to break those rules.

I remember a case where the treasurer of a church in the USA was caught up in a Nigerian scam and ‘borrowed’ money from the church funds as well as friends. NO MENTION was made that in his mind he intended to help others break the laws of an African country. Please note that is WRONG whether corrupt officials were involved or not. Repeat WRONG. Just as it was wrong for our GC president to try to persuade a Division president not to resign although he had let someone else write most of his PhD.

Those who know Argentina or (like me) have friends there will be aware of the allegations of fraud against whatever president is in power. Incidentally duty rates in Argentina vary from 0% to 35%, with the average duty rate at 22.27%.

I could talk about the awful devaluation of the Peso in Argentina etc but that is irrelevant.

The UK, where I live, has a standard rate of 20% on most items coming into our country other than books. Do you feel that it is OK to smuggle goods into the UK?? Or smuggle money out in a suitcase?? (We have sniffer dogs to reduce that!!)

The governments in the time of Christ were far far worse than Argentina but NEVER did Christ justify his followers avoiding legal responsibilities. Corrupt officials are a red herring.

Christians do not have a divine right to financially defraud any country. SDAs do not have a divine right to financially defraud any country. Those from the USA or UK do not have a divine right to financially defraud any other country. It is WRONG.

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We put the name and work of the church in real jeopardy when we try to circumvent local laws. Even if there is corruption everywhere, we need to be very careful about endangering our mission for a short-term advantage.

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What I don’t understand was the smuggling intended for the personal financial benefit of a few leaders?
Or was it for the greater good of the Institution–for its staff and mission?

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Clearly, if someone else has done it . . . it must be OK! That is the standard we should all aim for?

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Frank, I sincerely believe that we may never know that answer to that question. It may be that it might have benefited the school and some others personally. But it should be considered a huge embarrassment to all of Adventism- it wasn’t as if they were smuggling Bibles into the country.

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