Venezuelan President links lawmaker's murder to US-backed groups

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that the murder of a young Socialist lawmaker is linked to groups financed by former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and "mafias" backed by US.

IANS| Last Updated: Oct 04, 2014, 14:05 PM IST

Caracas: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that the murder of a young Socialist lawmaker is linked to groups financed by former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and "mafias" backed by US.

"The perpetrators of the crime have been already identified," Maduro said Friday after attending the funeral of Robert Serra and his female companion Maria Herrera, who were murdered Wednesday evening in their western Caracas home, Xinhua reported.

"We`re pursuing these criminals because they won`t escape from justice," Maduro said.

Venezuelan authorities have said the crime was an "intentional homicide" done by hired assassins.

"This is not a random incident committed by common criminals, this is an intentional homicide, planned and executed with great precision," said Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister, Miguel Rodriguez Torres.

Madura also condemned the local opposition which has treated the murders as a common crime in a nation that had the third highest homicide rate in Latin America in 2013.

Also, he announced a meeting with all security agencies and authorities to "activate a special security plan" and step up the protection of all socialist leaders.

Serra`s death puts the spotlight again on violent crimes in Venezuela, a problem that the government has said is its first priority, and polls consistently show it to be one of Venezuelans` main concerns.