President Nicolás Maduro stated that former Colombian city councilor, Julio Vélez, was among the masterminds behind the assassination of the chavista Deputy Robert Serra (pictured) and his assistant María Herrera.
Photo: www.telesurtv.net Photo: TELESUR
CARACAS.-The capture of Julio Vélez, former city councilor of Cúcuta (Colombia) on June 3, marked an important step forwards for the Venezuelan government in its investigation into paramilitaries operating in the country and their plans for internal destabilization.
Vélez was arrested on charges of having paid the group led by Leiver Padilla that assassinated the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) Deputy Robert Serra and his assistant María Herrera on October 1, 2014.
According to the Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, all of those detained in relation to the case up until now have pointed to the former councilor as one of the masterminds behind the crime.
Beyond the homicide, Vélez could be key to the Venezuelan authorities in their accusations against former Colombian president, Álvaro Uribe, whom they consider one of the chief promoters of the violence undertaken by paramilitaries against Venezuela.
According to Maduro and other senior officials, Vélez previously acted as Uribe’s right-hand man on the border with Venezuela, an area plagued by contraband and illegal immigration.
This situation can not be separated from the phenomenon of the infiltration of paid criminals in Venezuela, whose objective is to attack the government through targeted killings of political leaders and internal destabilization, according to authorities.
The investigators in Caracas believe the captured former councilor could provide evidence regarding the direct links between Uribe and groups paid to wreak havoc across the country.
Speaking of some of the links between the Colombian detainee and Uribe, Maduro noted that the ex president’s lawyer, Jaime Granados, personally assumed the defense of Vélez in 2010, when he was accused of killing his wife.
The moment Julio Vélez, former city councilor for Cúcuta, Colombia, was detained in Venezuela.
Foto: www.telesurtv.net Photo: TELESUR
Granados is recognized as a lawyer for those linked to Uribe, the Venezuelan President added.
Meanwhile, at the time of his capture, Vélez owned the Meka Cambio company, used for money laundering and currency speculation of the bolívar (Venezuelan money), in order to weaken it, according to press reports.
These activities are among those identified by Venezuela as part of the economic war it is undergoing, generating increasing discontent among the population.
The investigations relating to Vélez are now aimed at establishing who acted as he accomplices in the country, Maduro explained.
With this determination, the President demonstrated his commitment to the promise made to his compatriots of ensuring those guilty of promoting acts of violence in the streets are dealt with at the highest levels.
Another of Maduro’s pledges in relation to this case is to bring all those involved in the assassination of Serra, the youngest deputy in the history of the National Assembly, to justice.