Caracas, Aug 27: Two Colombians have confessed to plotting to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said.
The two suspects — Victor Johan Gueche Mosquera, 22, and Erick Leonardo Huertas Rios, 18 — are members of a criminal gang operating out of Colombia. They entered Venezuela illegally Aug 13, Xinhua quoted Rodriguez as saying.
“They have been discovered, we have enough evidence on how they entered, where they entered, how much they were paid and the mission they were on,” Rodriguez said Monday.
The two suspects belonged to a gang named after its ringleader Oscar Alcantara Gonzalez, who goes by the name Gancho Mosco.
Alcantara Gonzalez is serving a sentence for recruiting underage delinquents to carry out homicides and drug trafficking.
Rodriguez said Alcantara’s contact in Venezuela, identified as Alejandro Caicedo, helped the two suspects travel from Colombia’s capital Bogota to the border city of Cucuta.
From there, they entered Venezuela through Tachira, and travelled by land to Valencia, capital of Carabobo state.
In Valencia, a Venezuelan man named Carlos Salcedo helped them check into a hotel.
“We succeeded in locating them on August 15 and we succeeded in capturing them at the Guaracarumbo Hotel, on the Pan-American Highway that links Aragua state, through Mirada (state), to Caracas,” Rodriguez said.
At the time of their arrest, the two Colombians had two laser-sight rifles and ammunition, bags with 10 Venezuelan army uniforms and a photo of Maduro and the president of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello.
Both the suspects confessed that they were under orders to kill Maduro, Rodriguez said.
Venezuelan authorities said Gueche and Huertas are part of a 10-member conspiracy. The search will continue for the others and for Venezuelan Carlos Salcedo.
This is the third time this year Venezuelan authorities have arrested Colombian citizens allegedly involved in assassination attempts or plots against the government.