Chapeocoense plane pilot Miguel Quiroga was wanted for arrest: Bolivian government

The Bolivian Minister of Defence has revealed that the pilot in charge of the fatal Chapecoense plane crash in Colombia, Miguel Quiroga, had an arrest warrant out against him.

Miguel Quiroga, piloto del vuelo del Chapecoense.

Miguel Quiroga, the pilot who died along with 71 others – including players and staff of Brazilian football side Chapecoense – in Colombia last week, had an arrest warrant against out against him, the Bolivian government has revealed.

Premature abandonment of duty 

The warrant was issued due to Quiroga’s premature abandonment of the Bolivian armed forces – with whom he had trained as a pilot – before his period of duty was up.

“Captain Quiroga, who was the pilot of the plane that crashed, had a court trial pending with the Bolivian Air Force and there was even an urgent arrest warrant,” explained the Bolivian Minister of Defence, Reymi Ferreira, to press agency ABI.

“He received professional training, in which the state invests (...) and, suddenly, midway through instead of complying with the agreement and employing his knowledge and skills in favour of the Bolivian Air Force and state, he preferred to resign.”

Crash site

"My teammates were murdered, it wasn't an accident"

Aside from this new revelation over Quiroga’s conduct, the pilot has also been criticised heavily by family members and colleagues of the dead after the plane ran out of fuel before crashing just short of the runway near Medellin.

Chapecoense player Moises Santos, a team-mate of the Brazilian footballers killed in the tragedy, has even claimed the players were 'murdered' by the ‘guilty’ Quiroga.

In a report conducted by the Bolivian national aviation agency, which is now part of the official crash investigations, the flight dispatcher had been warned that the duration of the flight ‘was equal to aircraft fuel endurance,’ meaning there was insufficient fuel in the tank to complete the trip.

However, according to documents seen by Globo, the dispatcher of the flight said he talked to the pilot who 'insisted on making the flight, stating that the fuel endurance was sufficient and he would be able to make the flight in less time than usual.'