Venezuelan Prosecutor Vows ‘No Impunity’ in Union Leader Killing

Venezuelan authorities launched Thursday an investigation into the suspected assassination of a prominent union organiser.

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Bolivar state prosecutor Israel Perez stated the killing of unionist Joel Alcala is a priority for investigators, and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. (Bauxilum Productiva/ Handout)
Bolivar state prosecutor Israel Perez stated the killing of unionist Joel Alcala is a priority for investigators, and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. (Bauxilum Productiva/ Handout)

Puebla, Mexico, March 17, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan authorities launched Thursday an investigation into the suspected assassination of a prominent union organiser.

Two unknown assailants gunned down unionist Joel Alcala on Monday in Venezuela’s south eastern city of Ciudad Guayana, Bolivar state.

Bolivar state prosecutor Israel Perez stated shooting occurred when Alcala stopped at an intersection, with the assailants opening fire from a motorbike. Perez said the case was a priority for investigators, and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"The first investigations are already in progress, there will be no impunity and they will have the certainty that this fact will be clarified and the full weight of the law will fall on those responsible," he told a press conference.

The suspected assassination took place shortly after Alcala left a meeting at Venezuela’s state owned bauxite firm Bauxilum. According to activists, Alcala was set to assume the post of secretary general of the Bauxilum Workers Union, after a protracted internal dispute. In 2015, Alcala won internal union elections, but his confirmation was repeatedly delayed amid controversy over the election results. The dispute was later settled by Venezuela’s national electoral authority, the CNE, which declared Alcala the winner of the 2015 vote.

Over the past year Venezuela has seen a wave of suspected political killings targeting indigenous activists, leftwing political leaders and police.