[News] Venezuelan Intelligence Chief Murdered, 11 Protestors Indicted after Thursday’s Mass Arrests

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 12 12:25:46 EDT 2014

  Venezuelan Intelligence Chief Murdered, 11 Protestors Indicted after
  Thursday’s Mass Arrests


By Z.C. Dutka

Santa Elena de Uairen, 9^th May 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com 
<http://venezuelanalysis.com>) - Yesterday at noon, Rafael Celestino 
Albino Arteaga, 44, Vargas state chief of the Venezuelan Bolivarian 
Intelligence Service (SEBIN), was shot dead by an unidentified male 
assailant in a shopping mall in the western city of Maracay.

Arteaga’s killer, witnesses say, pointed a gun at him with the apparent 
intention of robbing him. After Arteaga turned over all of his 
possessions, the man shot him twice and then fled.

This marks the second murder of a Venezuelan intelligence officer in 
recent weeks, the first being Eliecer Otaiza, ex-chief of CIDIP, the 
national intelligence agency that preceded SEBIN. Otaiza was found dead 
on April 27th, and his suspected murderer (now in custody) had clear 
political motives, official sources say.

Authorities believe Arteaga’s murder may have been premeditated and are 
currently conducting a full investigation.

On Thursday, security forces succeeded in disbanding four of the largest 
remaining hard-line protest encampments, one of which blocked transit of 
a major highway. As protestors clashed with police, seven were wounded 
and one policeman, Jorge Colina, 24, was shot dead by a sniper. Two 
other police officers were wounded, seemingly by the same shooter.

Of the 243 barricaders apprehended, 12 were immediately released for 
being underage, 109 were put on probation, 15 were sentenced to 
rehabilitation programs for drug use, 47 are still on trial for reduced 
probation sentences, and 11 have been indicted.

The formal accusations of the indicted range from; illegal bearing of 
arms, incitement of violence and illicit activity, manipulation of 
youths for delinquency, obstruction of public transit, vandalism of 
property, trafficking of minor quantities of drugs, and the detonation 
of explosive substances.

While in custody, the protestors were given meals and sufficient 
drinking water, and their legal rights were recognized, according to 
official sources. Designated paramedics attended to minor injuries and 
health concerns of the interned.

Opposition activists present at the camps criticized the way the 
operation was carried out as “violent” and many mainstream media outlets 
have reported on the act as a “crackdown”.

According to Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres, less than 20% of 
those detained were active students.

On Friday the minister expressed outrage and shock at the death of 
policeman Jorge Colina.

“We will search under every stone until Colina’s murderer is 
identified,” said Torres. “This country cannot carry on in constant 
grief because of the caprices of a group of Venezuelans.”

The minister insisted the police officer’s death was not an arbitrary 
act of violence, but the latest casualty of a greater conspiracy, 
largely aimed at toppling the democratically elected president Nicolas 

He pointed at certain opposition leaders who have seemingly allowed the 
/guarimba/ (hardline protests and street barricades) to continue with 
impunity in the municipalities they govern, and extremist leader 
Leopoldo Lopez, who was imprisoned for inciting “street action” to 
remove Maduro from power by force. Torres also alluded to the appearance 
of even closer political ties.

“We know that [Caracas mayor Antonio] Ledezma is linked to “El Aviador” 
[Rodolfo Pedro Gonzalez Martinez, logistical director of the /guarimba/ 
barricades], who the SEBIN captured two days ago…. Undoubtedly there are 
conspirators here in Venezuela who have dedicated themselves to this 
kind of activity,” Torres said. “I do not say this with the intention of 
endangering the current dialogue underway, but it is necessary these 
things are discussed.”

The minister announced his plan to bring before the opposition alliance, 
the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), evidence of a conspiracy that has 
been in the works since 2010.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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