Former TSJ justice reveals ties between the military and drug trafficking
Luis Velásquez Alvaray, a former Justice of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), said that TSJ President Luisa Estella Morales is aware of the complaints
Luis Velásquez Alvaray, the former Justice of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), who is in exile in Costa Rica since 2006, reported on Wednesday that top Venezuelan Executive Office and Judiciary officials are allegedly involved in drug trafficking and operations in Venezuela of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), a guerrilla group.
During an interview with SoiTv (Interactive Opinion System), a Miami-based channel owned by Venezuelan banker Eligio Cedeño and serving the US Hispanic community, Alvaray, who is a fugitive of the Venezuelan justice, said that the Judiciary "has been penetrated by drug trafficking." He added that current TSJ President Luisa Estella Morales is aware of the situation. However, she has not done anything about it, he stressed.
According to Velásquez Alvaray, Justice Paul Jesús Aponte Ruedas, who replaced recently removed Justice Eladio Aponte Aponte, "is the personal lawyer" of Gen. Cliver Alcalá, the Commander of the Fourth Armored Division of Venezuelan Army, who has been mentioned several times as a military official linked to drug trafficking.
Alvaray accused Gen. Alcalá of being involved in the murder of Jesús Aguilarte, a former Governor of Apure state (southwestern Venezuela) and of Gen. Wilmer Moreno, a former deputy director of Venezuela's Military Intelligence Directorate (DIM).
Velásquez Alvaray said that two drug trafficking groups are operating in the country: Los Soles cartel, which comprises Venezuelan generals, and the Syrian-Lebanese cartel, formed by senior government officials. "There is evidence that they have received money and that their relatives have deposits abroad," the former justice added.
He also accused the TSJ's Constitutional Court Justice Marco Tulio Dugarte of being the main FARC lawyer in Venezuela.
Velásquez stressed said that General Hugo Carvajal, a former director of the Military Intelligence Directorate, of being involved in FARC operations; as well as former minister of Housing and Habitat, Julio Montes; former mayor and current congressman Freddy Bernal, and current Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Alí Rodríguez Araque, who -according to Velásquez- is "the main liaison of the guerrilla" in Venezuela.
Velázquez also accused former minister of the Interior and Justice and current PSUV leader Ramón Rodríguez Chacín and governor of the state of Barinas and brother of President Hugo Chávez Adán Chávez of being involved with the Colombian guerrilla.
The former justice accused former Executive Vice President José Vicente Rangel of being the mastermind behind the murder of prosecutor Danilo Anderson, in 2004.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."