[News] Venezuela Opposition lawyer killed in shoot-out

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 23 15:38:56 EST 2004

Opposition lawyer shot dead in downtown Caracas shoot-out with police officers


Lawyer Antonio Lopez has been shot dead in a shoot-out with police officers 
who were attempting to arrest him as a suspect in the last Thursday slaying 
of Venezuelan state prosecutor Danilo Anderson.

Police chief Henry Zerpa says police officers attempted to detain Lopez who 
drew a gun and began firing at the cops.  Two police agents were wounded in 
the shootout close to Plaza Venezuela in downtown Caracas.
    * Late last week, Lopez had reportedly gone into hiding and was 
actively sought by National Crime Squad (CICPC) detectives investigating 
the assassination of state prosecutor Danilo Anderson (38) last Thursday 

Anderson died in a fireball after some 250 grams of C-4 explosives were 
detonated under his Toyota 4WD ... the government has already said the 
cold-blooded killing may have been aimed at preventing Anderson's 
prosecution of opposition supporters involved in an April 2002 coup d'etat 
against President Hugo Chavez which saw US-backed Dictator for a Day Pedro 
Carmona Estanga seize power.

Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez has told the media that investigators 
have already traced a vehicle used by Anderson's attackers  who used C-4 
military explosives and a wireless trigger device to detonate two bombs 
under Anderson's Toyota.

Interior & Justice (MIJ) Minister Jesse Chacon said National Crime Squad 
(CICPC) detectives had traced a series of telephone calls which have helped 
identify suspects, including Lopez.

Anderson had been investigating some 400 opposition supporters who had lent 
their signatures to a coup decree backing the US puppet dictator who took 
power during the brief coup against Chavez.  Anderson had already announced 
that he was investigated the opposition's former Metropolitan Caracas Mayor 
Alfredo Pena (who still remains in hiding) and eight policemen for 
shootings during an opposition march, as well as some 59 rebel military 

Some of those rebel officers are already implicated in the last year 
bombings of the Colombian Consulate and the Spanish Embassy in Caracas as 
well as the Teleport building HQ of a Carter Center/OAS 'Friends of 
Venezuela' negotiating team.

Venezuela has repeatedly asked the United States to extradite three rebel 
officers cited in Venezuelan court proceedings to answer charges of having 
orchestrated the bombings.  Chacon says "I hope the US government believes 
that terrorism must be fought and extradites them back to Venezuelan 
jurisdiction ... the United States should wholeheartedly support 
Venezuela's efforts against terrorism."

In update news: It is understood that one of the two CICPC officers wounded 
in the gun battle with Lopez has just died. Police found guns, grenades and 
explosives in Lopez' car and further caches at his residence.  The dead 
policeman has just been named as Alberto Pavon.  He died in a Caracas 
hospital this afternoon.

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