World / Crime & Legal

Venezuela lawmaker murdered at home in a planned attack, government says

Bloomberg

Venezuelan pro-government Congressman Robert Serra and his partner were murdered in a planned attack at their Caracas home, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said.

Serra, 27, and Maria Herrera were stabbed in their home Wednesday night in the La Pastora neighborhood “in a planned assassination, organized in detail and executed in the course of 15 to 20 minutes,” Rodriguez said in an emailed statement from the Information Ministry. “We are not talking about a random occurrence.”

Serra, a criminologist by training, was a leader of the youth section of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela founded by late President Hugo Chavez. As congressman for central Caracas, he campaigned for the deepening of Chavez’s socialist policies.

“Robert, we will follow your example, loyal and firm, on the path of the revolution,” President Nicolas Maduro said in a Twitter posting last night.

Under Chavez, Caracas’ murder rate rose to the highest in the world among world capitals, according to the United Nations, which relies on figures from nongovernment organizations in the absence of publically available official statistics. Chavez’s former head of security, Eliezer Otaiza, was murdered in a car robbery in April on the outskirts of Caracas by a group of adolescents as young as 14, according to the public prosecutor.

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