On Jan. 14, Venezuelan prosecutor Gilberto Landaeta asked
Interpol to help locate four Venezuelan retired military officers
who are accused in connection with bombings on Feb. 25, 2003 at
the Spanish and Colombian embassies in Caracas, in which four
people were wounded [see Update #689]. The fugitives are National
Guard Gen. Felipe Rodriguez, Army Col. Yussepe Piliery and army
lieutenants Jose Colina and German Varela. All four are believed
to be in Florida, according to a statement from the Venezuelan
attorney general's office.
Rodriguez, Piliery, Colina and Varela belong to a group of about
100 dissident officers who occupied a Caracas plaza in early
2002, hoping to spark a rebellion against Chavez's government. In
November 2003, the attorney general charged the four with
responsibility for the February attacks, alleging they expected
the bombings would be blamed on supporters of President Hugo
Chavez and would turn the Spanish and Colombian governments
against Chavez.
US immigration officials announced in December that Varela and
Colina were taken into custody after arriving in Miami on a
commercial flight from Colombia. The two sought political asylum,
claiming Venezuelan police were trying to arrest them merely for
their political opposition to Chavez.
[CNN en Espanol 1/17/04
from AP; La Jornada (Mexico) 11/28/03 from AFP, DPA; Miami Herald
1/15/04 from AP]