A legislator of the governing United Socialist Party Of Venezuela was found dead yesterday.
The legislator of the governing United Socialist Party Of Venezuela was found dead yesterday
Robert Serra, 27, a legislator of the governing United Socialist Party Of Venezuela (PSUV), and the National Assembly’s (AN) youngest parliamentary representative, was found dead in his Caracas home on October 2.
Authorities confirmed that Serra and his partner Maria Herrera had been murdered. According to the newspaper Ultimas Noticias, reports say that Serra’s body showed signs of torture before he was killed.
The minister of interior affairs, Miguel Rodriguez Torres, said on state television that an investigation had been launched into the murders. “They were horribly assassinated in their house – a motive still hasn’t been determined, what we can assure is that there is a specialised team at the site to investigate who is responsible for this act,” he stated, while asking PSUV members to “remain calm”.
Serra was a rising figure within Chavismo, and had been a student leader in the PSUV. A law graduate and criminologist he also spearheaded initiatives to tackle violent crime in Venezuela. He was elected to the AN for the PSUV in 2010.
President Nicolas Maduro first reacted to the news on Twitter, writing: “We will continue your example Robert, loyal and firm in the path of the revolution that you always defended with passion”.
National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello told VTV that he felt “immense pain” at the “horrendous crime” and loss of “one of the PSUV’s new, best generation”.
Several commentators from within Chavismo argued that Serra’s murder was part of an strategy of targeted assassinations and an “economic war” to undermine the Bolivarian government.
Serra’s murder joins the list of other assassinations of government figures. In April, PSUV local councilor and former intelligence chief Eliecer Otaiza was murdered in Caracas. Serra’s bodyguard, detective Alexis Barreto, was also assassinated two years ago.
Assassination attempts have also been reported against top government officials including price control enforcer Eduardo Saman who survived an armed assault that he said was an assassination attempt.
The cases recall the car bomb assassination of state lawyer Danilo Anderson in 2004, who at the time was responsible for prosecuting several anti-government figures suspected of participating in the 2002 coup against the administration of Hugo Chavez.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.