My name is Jeffrey A. Sheehan. I retired in 2013 after serving for 30 years as Associate Dean for International Relations at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. My travels for Wharton took me to 85 countries on every continent, and when I retired I had 13,464 business cards that I had collected from individuals worldwide.
I first met Luis Andrade when he was an MBA student at Wharton. We became close friends and I have now known him for 34 years as a consultant, public servant, father, husband and alumnus. He was the president of a major conference that Wharton held in Bogota and he has been a member of the school’s Executive Board for Latin America for more than a decade. I know him well and feel qualified to comment on his character.
Luis Andrade is one of the most compassionate, principled and ethical individuals I have ever met. In every capacity in which I have known him he has demonstrated the utmost reliability, unflinching honesty, and uncompromising integrity. All of our common friends and business associates feel the same way.
I wrote a book about the 21 individuals, out of the 13,464 I met in my career at Wharton, for whom I had the greatest respect and affection. Luis Andrade was one of the 21. I cannot give anyone higher praise than to be included in my book.
Luis was born in New Orleans when his father was finishing his PHD at Tulane University. His mother was my husband’s younger Sister.
I really did not get to meet him when he was a child. We lived in Colombia where my husband was the Dean of the Medical School at the Javeriana University
When he finished High School in Miami, Luis went to the University of Florida to study engineering and became a very good friend of one of my sons. During his years at University of Florida, I saw him quite often and I had the opportunity to really admire him as a VERY smart, kind and friendly young man.
After graduating from University of Florida, he earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Once graduated from Wharton he worked at McKinsey and Company, where he had a very successful career.
His grandmother was the sister of Colombian President Alberto Lleras, one of the best Presidents in Colombian history. Luis, who watched President Lleras’s dedication to the improvement of Colombia, took the difficult decision to accept the job as CEO of the National Infrastructure Agency to make a BIG change in the management of the country’s infrastructure. He saw the opportunity to attract private capital and eliminate corruption in procurement to accelerate construction and make the most of the country’s limited resources.
He comes from a family background where the words HONESTY and DEDICATION are the only guides. This is a young executive who ONLY deserves ADMIRATION and RESPECT.
I met Luis Fernando 35 years ago at the University of Florida where we both obtained an engineering degree. Luis is one of the brightest and hard working person I have ever met. It is not an accident that he had a very successful career at McKinsey, one of the top consulting firms in the world.
When Luis told me six years ago he was thinking of working for President Santos at the INCO I asked him why? Why do you want that headache? Why do you want to go from working with the brightest & ethical minds in the business world to getting involved in a government agency that has many problems. His answer did not surprise me. He told me he wanted to give back to Colombia. He wanted to make a big difference in his parent's country that could be felt within 10 years. Luis had big dreams for the country. Turning around Colombia's Infrastructure Agency and designing. implementing and directing the biggest PPP projects in Colombia's history was his dream at the time. He achieved it. Colombia may not remember Luis name in 10 years, but they will see the huge change in the country's roads, ports, and trains.
It is very unfortunate that when the few bright, honest and hard working minds that are willing to sacrifice for the greater good, they often encounter the corruption and the abuse of power that undoubtedly stand in the way. In this case it is shameful that the one person that is supposed to uphold the law, the Colombian Attorney General, NESTOR HUMBERTO MARTINEZ, is so corrupt, that he openly is participating in one of the biggest cover-ups in the last 20 years, and that he is using his ill-gotten power to go after Luis Fernando for standing up to ilegal demands from GRUPO AVAL and ODEBRECHT.
I am very proud of having met Luis Fernando and having had the benefit of his wise counsel. The hardships he and his family are going through are despicable. I am hopeful that through this website and many other ways of communicating to the world the injustice that is being done here, the truth will prevail.
I met Luis Fernando on only a few occasions whilst I was working in Colombia between 2011 and 2016. I was also acquainted with some of Luis’ family and work colleagues both professionally and socially.
In 2017 I was surprised to read of the charges that were being levelled against Luis Fernando. They did not coincide with my knowledge of how he ran the Agency or his reputation in the Colombian business community.
Out of curiosity I began to investigate the story behind the charges. In April of 2018 I published an article of my findings. My investigation and analysis of publicly available material and discussions with people who were familiar with the work of the Agency only confirmed my initial belief that Luis Fernando was being made a scapegoat and that powerful forces in Colombia’s business and political circles were using the case against Luis Fernando to protect their own interests. Sadly, this is a common story in Colombia.
Key findings from my investigation that led me to form this conclusion are:
1. Luis Fernando's appointment has been called a "before and after" moment in the history of infrastructure development in Colombia.
2. In 2014 the ANI was recognised by P3 Bulletin as the American continent’s best Private Public Partnership agency.
3. President Santos has described Luis Fernando as an "impeccable public servant”. Colombia's leading business executives and lawyers have described Andrade as diligent, proper and as someone whose behaviour was unimpeachable.
4. Under Luis Fernando’s leadership, the ANI awarded more than 30 PPP contracts without a single complaint, lawsuit or investigation.
5. Colombia’s Attorney General, Nestor Humberto Martinez has stated that there is no evidence to suggest that Luis Fernando received any illicit payments.
6. Rather than award the Ocaña-Gamarra Road contract through another expensive tendering process, the most economical way to proceed was to add the project to Odebrecht's existing contract. Awarding the contract in this way resulted in a significant cost-saving for the Colombian Government.
7. To award the Ocaña-Gamarra Road as an addition to Odebrecht's existing contract took approximately two years and occurred only after being signed off by President Santos, Vice President Vargas Lleras and all the sitting Federal Ministers at the time the project was conceived.
8. The Attorney General has focused on six to nine meetings based on the testimony of three individuals; Juan Sebastian Correa, Bernardo Elias and Otto Bula. The first is an ex-employee of the Infrastructure Agency, the other two are ex-Senators. All three are currently in jail awaiting trial. Their testimonies were given in plea-bargaining.
9. Odebrecht was the major partner of the Ruta del Sol II consortium. The other major partner was Corficolombiana, a Colombian financial group controlled by Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, Colombia’s richest man and close friend of Nestor Humberto Martinez.
10. Nestor Humberto Martinez was employed by the Ruta del Sol II consortium to provide his legal opinion on the addition of the Ocaña-Gamarra Road to the existing contract held by the consortium. Martinez gave it the green light.
11. Later, when Nestor Humberto Martinez was named as head of the Ministry of Presidency, he was required to give approval to the Ocaña-Gamarra Road contract and the process by which the ANI intended to award it. He duly signed the approval.
12. In 2016, Odebrecht and Corficolombiana were party to a claim against the ANI for the sum of COP$700 billion pesos, around US$260 million. Despite political pressures to pay the sum, Luis Fernando publicly opposed the payment and it was never made.
I send my best wishes to Luis and his family as they attempt extricate themselves from the labyrinth of Colombian politics and justice. It is important for the future of Colombia justice is done.