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Venezuela: 3 people dead, 2 wounded, 5 arrested and 13 raids so far.

By Sol Castro,

In the investigation of Environment Prosecutor Danilo Anderson’s death, three people have died under suspect circumstances (Antonio López Castillo, Juan Carlos Sánchez, and an unidentified policeman supposedly shot dead by the first), two policemen are wounded, and five people have been arrested (López Castillo’s parents, former senator Haydée Castillo de López and her husband, a math professor; and three members of the same family, Juan Guevara, and his cousins, Otoniel and Rolando Guevara, both former DISIP police involved in the Montesinos’ case three years ago). Former police officer Juan Bautista Guevara, who investigated and solved the cases involving explosions at the Supreme Court, and the car bombings at a shopping mall in 1993, is to be charged with placing the bomb in Anderson’s SUV last week, and will be formally indicted on charges of terrorism, non-existent in Venezuela’s Crime Code, homicide and association with the Guevaras tomorrow. According to the police, Guevara was arrested in a motel in Portuguesa State although his family has stated he was abducted by the police two days after the crime. In addition, at least 13 homes and offices have been raided by the police.

Raids galore again.

The same government that used children as an excuse to pass a law to regulate and censor content on radio and television for their well-being, raided a Jewish school and club, Hebraica School and Club, Monday morning, at 6 am., with some 25 police from the CICPC and DISIP pointing weapons at cars and school transports filled with children who were not allowed in their school. The procedure was authorized by 34th Control Court presided by Judge Maikel Moreno in charge of the investigation of Danilo Anderson’s death. Apparently, the materials used in the car bombing were Israeli, providing the government an excuse to raid the Jewish school.

Two more people dead and one arrested during a raid in Maracaibo.

Two unidentified subjects, aged 46 and 48, died on Monday night supposedly in a shoot-out with a police commission in Maracaibo, Zulia State, when the officers tried to raid the home. Explosive material and two weapons were found in the premises. The two were killed in addition to the other two killed in similar circumstances in Caracas and Lara State last week. No information as to whether this raid is connected to the investigation on Anderson’s case was provided.

Seeking asylum in Salvador.

Former Metropolitan Police chiefs, Henry Vivas and Lázaro Forero sought asylum in the Salvadorian Embassy this weekend. Both had received subpoenas by Danilo Anderson to appear in his office and be charged with homicide for the events of April 2002. An envoy from the Salvadoran government is in Caracas to meet with the government authorities and the former officers in order to gather information that will help his government make a decision.

17 new justices could be appointed before Dec. 15.

The debate to appoint the new justices (12) and substitutes (32) will begin tomorrow afternoon in the ordinary session at the National Assembly. The Supreme Court still must rule if the AN is also to appoint the five justices who were forced to retire so charges would not be brought against them. Leader majority, MVR Cilia Flores, ratified that since there is no consensus with the opposition, the pro-government bloc will have to wait until the fourth session to select the new justices using their simple majority. Some of the favorite candidates include Francisco Carrasquero, president of the National Electoral Council, MVR legislator Luis Velásquez Alvaray, who drafted the new Supreme Court Law, the military General Prosecutor Eladio Aponte, and former justice Carlos Escarrá.

Still missing after 29 days

Retired Air Force Colonel Silvino Bustillos went missing October 31 when he was chased from his voting station to a local police headquarter, and then to his house where he was seen last. News he had died while being tortured reported on the Sunday paper, La Razón, brought forth an accusation for libel by the Minister of Defense against the journalist who broke the news. General García Carneiro, however, has confirmed three intelligence officers from the National Guards (Lieutenant Daniel Pérez, Henry Carrizo and Pedro Velis) followed Bustillos to his home. His whereabouts are still unknown.

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