It’s been just over a month since Robert Serra, 27, was killed along with his girlfriend, at his home in Caracas. Here are the latest details on the case, via Aporrea:
Until now, Venezuelan authorities have not located the car and the motorbike on which the assassins of Robert Serra travelled, one month ago today. Both vehicles were stolen, according to a judicial source.
Edwin Torres Camacho, the head of Serra’s bodyguard, arrived at the latter’s house, in the Caracas district of La Pastora, on a motorcycle which they had previously left for him at the El Cristo corner. Right behind him on the bike was Padilla Leyva, alias “El Colombia”. In a red pickup truck, Fariñes Palomino (“El Eme”), Carlos Enrique García Martínez (“Tin-Tin”), Jaime Padilla (“El Oreja”) and Daniel Salinas Quevedo (“El Dani”) arrived, according to what president Nicolás Maduro revealed in a broadcast on Wednesday, October 15.
Two functionaries of the Caracas police guarded the street nearby: Raider Espinoza and Eric Romero. They were in uniform and carrying their regulation pistols. They were contacted by the chief of Serra’s bodyguard.
El Colombia’s gang was tasked with committing the homicide. It appears they were paid $500,000 US. The only ones still to be captured are the chief, Padilla Leyva, and “El Eme”, Fariñez Palomino. The rest are already in custody at the headquarters of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).
Yesterday, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice informed via bulletin that a Caracas control tribunal had ordered the imprisonment of Jaime Padilla “for being presumably connected as co-author in the crime of aggravated homicide, against the deputy, Robert Serra, and his companion, María Herrera.”
Jaime Padilla is unofficially also known as “Johnny Padilla” and “El Oreja” (The Ear). For this, he was also charged with usurpation of identity. Padilla turned himself in to the authorities on October 28.
So we learn that stolen vehicles were used; this would help to cover the home invaders’ tracks, at least initially. With no rightful owners’ names attached to the truck and motorbike, the identities of the killers would have remained a mystery…that is, had the corrupted bodyguard, Edwin Torres Camacho, not told all soon after his own arrest.
The most explosive detail in this, for me, was the fact that two Caracas police officers were apparently involved. And that they were operating in uniform, carrying their regulation sidearms, guarding the street as the assassination was going down. Ostensibly securing the neighborhood, they actually facilitated a double homicide, and one of the most shocking in recent memory at that. Corruption in the Metropolitan Caracas police is hardly news, and neither is putschism; during the coup of ’02, they were in the command of an opposition mayor, Alfredo Peña, widely rumored to have ties to the CIA and the US embassy. And the current mayor, also an oppositionist, is the infamous “Grandpa Monster”, Antonio Ledezma. It would not surprise me one bit to learn that he was implicated, and that he had okayed the very inappropriate actions of those two police officers (and who knows how many others) on that particular night. I don’t know if he is involved, mind you; I’m just saying that I would put nothing past him, including collaboration in one of the most grotesque and traumatizing political assassinations of all time. And it bears remembering that Robert Serra himself named him, not long before he was assassinated, as a likely intellectual author of just such a crime.