River Plate Adventist University President Resigns Amid Smuggling Scandal

Amid an ongoing smuggling scandal involving administrators at River Plate Adventist University (Universidad Adventista del Plata) in Entre Rios Argentina, University President Oscar Ramos has resigned his position, Spectrum has learned. In a meeting of the Argentina Union Conference's leadership on Sunday, October 9, the news of Ramos' resignation was announced. Current Vice President for Academic Affairs Gabriel Schultz has been named acting president and a committee has been established to select a new president.

On September 22 news broke in Argentine media that Argentina's Policia Federal carried out raids on eight locations and apprehended six leaders of the Adventist Church involved in allegedly smuggling some $15,000,000 Argentine Pesos ($991,000 USD) worth of electronic goods into the country, disguised as a shipment of medical supplies from the United States. Customs officials discovered a wide array of purportedly undeclared electronics worth some $6,000,000 Pesos ($396,400 USD) in unpaid import fees.

Argentina charges steep import fees that have led many to attempt to circumvent official channels in bringing goods into the country. The Argentine government has sharply cracked down on illegal imports.

We now know that only one Adventist leader, Jorge De Sousa MatĂ­as, Vice President for International Development at River Plate, was detained by police. Other leaders were given citations, requiring that they make depositions before Argentina's judiciary. Those leaders' names have still not been confirmed.

The Argentina Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (la AsociaciĂłn Argentina de los Adventistas del SĂ©ptimo DĂ­a), to which the shipment was addressed, issued two statements indicating that the Adventist Church was cooperating fully with authorities and had the proper documentation for the shipment received.

The resignation of the university president indicates that all is not well for the church in Argentina, despite insistence that the church has done no wrong.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7689
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Thanks for keeping us updated. In the midst of other heated disucssions some issues are quickly lost sight of.
The timing of the resignation is interesting - however, the act itself is to be valued for what it is: taking responsibility for a “fishy” situation - even if legally all the documents can be presented (which remains to be seen).

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Sad, sad, sad. The devil works overtime in our institutions to destroy us. So many times we fall into his trap of “nobody will know, you can do this, it’s not cheating” and the list goes on. Let us pray harder and longer for our people during these end times.

Smuggling is Sad if true, sadder if untrue. Does the Church have good legal counsel? TZ

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Looks like Papa Ted needs to go down to Argentina now and get Bro. Ramos to reconsider, to sleep on it.
Lord, have mercy.

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Or give him a new job as the treasurer for the GC. He seems good with money and is talented in the import/export business.

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This is, definitely, the greatest YEAR OF GRACE ever!.. :slight_smile:

Grace to SID, great to PUC, grace to CUC, grace to Unions in Europe, grace to the smugglers in Argentina. Let’s see who will be the next to benefit from so much, abundant grace… :wink:

So… those guys decide to break the law and, well…, there must be a scapegoat for that too. This time it’s Satan. I thought Obama would be blamed for this one too, but apparently not this time… :wink:

Tom, I don’t know about the legal counsel, but the Church definitely has some “creative people” working in leadership. Smuggling, printing PhD diplomas, delivering false reports to TOSC, tossing the TOSC conclusions, etc. Very creative indeed!

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GeorgeTichy, seems that you have experience with sort of thing.

Relatives of mine told me a couple of months earlier that the news was out of containers belonging to a large institution had been found with contraband in a port, but the people at the SDA university town already new it was referring to the university’s containers. It is an open secret, but those with inside information know it is much worse than that.

This is just a little heads up for the apologists of institutionalism to hone up on your excuses. Should the authorities ever catch on to what the hospital there does you will be needing your best alibis and misinformation.
Not to mention what will happen if it they find what is done with ADRA containers…

Dear Dixiemom14, the devil does not work overtime with the SDA church. The leadership does well enough by themselves, with compliance from most members. As you have seen here and in another post relating to this subject, people instinctively spring up to defend or deflect from the institution’s wrongdoing.
It is even worse if you try to “work from within” to change things ( this is a tactic often used to avoid having someone expose wrongdoing). Good christians who stand for what is right have a history of being punished, fired, etc in Argentina. Similar to what happened to those that tried to warn the SDA leaders of the biggest Medicare fraud in the US.

Brave whistleblowers


USA Justice department

Nor is it the first time… justice.gov/archive/opa/pr/2004/October/04_civ_723.htm

My question is, what will be needed to start a change back to christian principles? Will it be necessary to have some nail 95 theses on the door of the GC?

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“My question is, what will be needed to start a change back to christian principles?”

This is assuming that they were learned the first time around (“christian principles”). What is really needed is a tutorial in basic morals and ethics first…then go from there.

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What about, “Just reading the Bible as it is”… Would that be effective and enough?

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Evidently not…hasn’t seemed to work yet for some. :smile:

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@cincerity Yes, I had not considered that option.

When I was a student at the UAP, I had to vote one year. After seeing the rampant disregard for separation of church and state, we made an experiment with a friend. At a local level, the church party wins with a large majority.
The voting place I was assigned was located at the university’s academy (and within university grounds), chaired mostly by good brudern. From the offered ballots I deliberately chose the communist candidate.
This means that there should be at least one vote for that candidate when the results are posted.
Not one appeared for the communist candidate at the voting results.

There are some other similar stories and social experiments we could discuss, but this one is representative enough for our purposes I believe.

One could ostensibly hold that smuggling and theft were just a mistake, allowing for a generous amount of innocence or cognitive challenge. How does federal crimes to achieve or maintain political power fit in this ethics and morality issue, cincerity?
What is your take? A fresh set of eyes would be welcome, since being immersed since birth in such scenario is sure to have affected my perceptions…

Thanks again for listening…and conversing. It has been ages and it does me good to be able to share…and let go.

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Nice to see you posting again, Sola Scriptura…it has been awhile. :slight_smile:

“How does federal crimes to achieve or maintain political power fit in this ethics and morality issue, cincerity?”

You ask a complicated question in many regards but I will give you my take on it:

Federal and state laws are not necessarily based on morals or ethics but are supposedly enacted to give society guidance so anarchy does not ensue. As far as crimes committed by the Federal Powers go…well, they were not an ethical or moral agent to begin with though it would be nice if they were.

Nothing is new under the sun and the political power moves and grabs have been going on for millennia and I don’t see that anything is going to change. If one is in the position to affect change and reform- then one should do so. Voting may be what most of us are capable of doing here in the US.

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Sola_Scriptura. I mostly agree with your input, in some different post…it seems that you have some relatives or you still are living in Libertador San Martín…I really understand your inputs without a name. Please keep it in that way, otherwise your family could be in trouble

asamojluk: Thanks! It seems you know and have experience of what I am mentioning. I take it you are related to the Samojluks in Argentina?

Is this what the adventist community has resulted in? Having to speak in anonymity out of fear of inquisition and retribution?

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Thanks cincerity. You are right and I must agree. Unfortunately I read up on the weekends due to my hectic schedule. It would have take more time , and surely more words, to phrase it better…

Some view taxes as unjust (as one of the apologists for the university implied) for example, and it can be so. Just as other laws can be opposed to the morals and ethics that make for a thriving , just society.

But in the case of voter fraud, I see less leeway. To throw away or change someone’s vote and then lie to cover it up seems quite the opposite to christian values.

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