Venezuela Seeks Extradition of Alleged Mastermind of Lawmaker Serra’s Murder

The Venezuelan government is seeking the extradition of the paramilitary Leiva Padilla Mendoza, who is suspected of having planned the assassination of leftwing Venezuelan lawmaker Robert Serra and his aide Maria Herrera.

By Ewan Robertson
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Mendoza, alias “El Colombia”, was captured in Cartagena, Colombia last Wednesday under a request by Interpol. (VTV screenshot)
Mendoza, alias “El Colombia”, was captured in Cartagena, Colombia last Wednesday under a request by Interpol. (VTV screenshot)

Mérida, 10th November 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government is seeking the extradition of the paramilitary Leiva Padilla Mendoza, who is suspected of having planned the assassination of leftwing Venezuelan lawmaker Robert Serra and his aide Maria Herrera.

Mendoza, alias “El Colombia”, was captured in Cartagena, Colombia last Wednesday under a request by Interpol. According to information obtained by newspaper El Tiempo, the man possesses dual Colombian – Venezuelan nationality and was born in Caracas in 1981.

“The procedures are being performed…so that in a few days we have him [Mendoza] in Venezuela, because we want justice. There isn’t going to be impunity,” said Venezuela’s interior minister Carmen Melendez yesterday.

Ten others have been taken into custody by Venezuelan authorities under suspicion of involvement in the assassination, which is thought to have been planned three months beforehand. One of those arrested is Serra’s bodyguard, Edwin Torres Camacho, who reportedly confessed details of how the crime was planned and carried out.

Authorities still seek three others believed to be connected to the double murder. Serra and Herrera were assassinated in Serra’s Caracas home on 1 October, provoking national and international outcry. Robert Serra, 27, was the country’s youngest parliamentarian and a rising star in the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

President Nicolas Maduro has accused the “ultra-right” in Venezuela and their allies abroad of involvement in the act.