Caracas , June 3, 2006, Tensions over Venezuelan interference in Peru’s upcoming elections again boil over as Moisés Boyer Riobueno, who claims to be a Venezuelan soldier, announced that he had been given orders to disturb Peru’s democratic process .
Thursday, Boyer announced that he was captain in the Venezuelan army, and denounced orders he says he received from the Venezuelan government to be part of a conspiracy against the Peruvian elections. He said that the Chávez administration had given $600,000 to finance the campaign of Ollanta Humala.
He also claimed that he went to Peru with 19 other soldiers with orders by the Venezuelan president to train groups to cause social chaos during the next election.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Communications strenuously denied the allegations in a recent press release. “The campaign of Peruvian Candidate Alan Garcia and of the government of that country against President Hugo Chávez Frías continues advancing without scruples: this time they have reached the extreme of contracting a known mercenary,” said the statement.
The Ministry of External Relations denied that Boyer was ever a soldier in the armed forces of Venezuela.
Some Peruvian officials have also expressed skepticism about Boyer’s identity. “If [Boyer] really is Venezuelan, he has lived in Trujillo for more than three years. He works as a bellhop in a restaurant called Al carbon, owned by a militant [loyalist to Garcia’s party], named Jorge Olivera. What’s more, in the last electoral campaign he worked as a bodyguard for a congressional candidate of Congreso de Alianza por el Futuro,” said Alberto Escudero, Congressman Elect for Unión por el Perú , according to Peru’s El Comercio.
Early last month, Venezuela and Peru withdrew their respective ambassadors after Chávez threatened to withdraw his ambassador to Peru if García won. Garcia was president in Peru from 1985-90 and presided over hyperinflation and food shortages and the two exchanged insults. Chavez had vocally supported the alternative candidate, Ollanta Humala, who eventually, along with current Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, criticized Chávez for his meddling. The National Assembly in Venezuela, which is composed solely of members of the ruling and allied parties, unanimously expressed its support for Chávez’s handling of the situation.