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Montevideo, May 19th 2024 - 19:58 UTC



Death threats and killings in coup investigation.

Wednesday, December 1st 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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Several high-profile Venezuelan government officials have received anonymous death threat letters, among which Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ivan Rincon and Interior Minister Jesse Chacon.

Mr. Rodriguez said the letter contained a macabre reference to a "Christmas bonus complete with vacation, just like the one given to Danilo Anderson". Special prosecutor Danilo Anderson who was investigating the short lived coup of April 2002 against President Hugo Chavez was killed in a car bomb attack last November 18. Mr. Rodriguez said that despite the threats prosecutors would continue in their efforts to determine who masterminded Mr. Anderson's murder.

According to Interior Minister Chacon investigators were on the trail of those who instigated and financed the attack. Actually three people have already died during the investigation, a police office and two suspects.

One of those suspects, 32-year-old attorney Antonio Lopez, son of prominent members of the Christian Democratic Party, or Copei, shot and killed police officer Luis Pavon near Plaza Venezuela in downtown Caracas before being gunned down by one of Pavon's fellow officers.

A police raid on the home of Lopez's parents, with whom he lived, turned up an arsenal that included assault rifles, grenade launchers, anti-tank mines, as well as explosives and devices similar to those used in the attack on Mr. Anderson.

Another suspect, Juan Sanchez, died in a shootout in the city of Valencia. He was allegedly heading to the northwestern city of Maracaibo from where he planned to catch a flight to the United States, officials said.

The Guevara brothers, Otoniel and Rolando, former high-ranking officers in the country's Judicial police force, have been apprehended in connection with Mr. Anderson's murder, along with their cousin, Juan Guevara.

Prosecutors have charged the Guevara brothers with "premeditated homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide".

Categories: Mercosur.

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