The Venezuelan Minister for Communication, Jorge Rodríguez, announced the arrest of one of the members of the Los Rastrojos paramilitary group that was photographed with Juan Guaidó last February. Rodríguez showed a video where the captured subject, Iván Posso Pedrozo, alias ‘Nandito’, recounts the operation where he participated to move the Venezuelan opposition deputy Juan Guaidó from Venezuela to Colombia. He indicated that they took the photos of Guaidó to have a way of pressuring an hypothetical government of Guaidó, in order to let him act freely in Venezuelan territory.
Posso Pedrozo, one of the people in charge of collecting the money from extortion and kidnappings of the narco-paramilitary organization, explained in a video that was recorded by Venezuelan intelligence agencies that this criminal group was allegedly contacted, to carry out the transfer, by envoys of the opposition governor of the state of Táchira, Laidy Gómez and Roberto Marrero, formerly Guaido’s chief of staff, who was arrested on 21 March in Venezuela for his alleged link with “a terrorist cell” dismantled and related to the failed attack against the president Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, perpetrated in August 2018.
The operation with the participation of the criminal organization was carried out on February 22, the date on which the parliamentarian would attend the concert ‘Venezuela Aid Live’, held in Colombia, one day before the failed attempt to force “humanitarian aid” into Venezuelan territory.
Why take pictures?
Posso Pedroza, captured by Venezuelan authorities in the days before September 11, says in the video released on Friday that he took the images of the self-proclaimed “president in charge” with leaders of Los Rastrojos.
The reason for this, as explained by Posso Pedroza, is because the group, to which homicides, drug trafficking, contraband, and extortion are attributed, had negotiated in a previous meeting to take these photographs as a “future” guarantee to pressure the hypothetical government of Guaidó with the purpose of letting them act freely in Venezuelan territory.
For his part, Rodríguez said that the graphics would help Los Rastrojos to transit through Venezuela to commit their misdeeds. Those photos were intentional to blackmail the Venezuelan right wing leadership.
The Minister of Communication added that the question was cleared about the reason for taking pictures with members of one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in Colombia. “Those photographs were taken to be a kind of bail.”
Who is in the images?
So far, four heads of the narco-paramilitary organization who had participated in the operation to leave Venezuela and take Guaidó into Colombia have been known through photographic records. The crimes of homicide, kidnapping, extortion, drug trafficking and association to commit crimes are attributed to all of them.
- Albeiro Lobo Quintero, aka ‘Brother‘, who carries a gun in his belt, captured in June,
- John Jairo Durán , known as ‘The Minor‘.
- Iván Posso Pedrozo , aka ‘Nandito’, right hand of ‘El Menor’, alleged author of the photos.
- Argenis Vaca , aka ‘Vaquita‘
- Jonathan Orlando Zambrano García , aka ‘Poor Patron’, who drove Guaidó from La Palmita, in the border state of Táchira, to Colombia where he was received by local authorities and dropped him directly into the Colombian Presidential helicopter that took Guaido to Cucuta.
EN VÍDEO👉Vicepte. Sectorial para Comunicación, Cultura y Turismo @jorgerpsuv muestra vídeo en el que alias “Nandito” relata las indicaciones para haber custodiado a Juan Guaidó hacia Colombia el #23Feb pic.twitter.com/P2WbOb52NQ
— MPPRIJP (@MIJPVenezuela) September 20, 2019
Guaidó has previously stated that he does not know the subjects with whom the images were made because thousands of photos were taken during his entering into Colombia.
How did it all begin?
The opposition governor of Táchira, according to the story of Posso Pedroza, sent his right hand, Loryis Silva Ramírez, who requested that the operation be carried out by Wilfrido Torres Gómez, aka ‘Neco’, leader of Los Rastrojos since 2011, captured in Valencia (Carabobo) in March of this year. Marrero, Guaidó’s collaborator, had previously made the request.
The day before the concert, according to ‘Nandito’, they were also contacted by the mayor of the Colombian municipality of the Port of Santander, Henry Manuel Valero Peinado, who said he had been sent by the government of Colombia to coordinate the delivery of the “healthy and safe ” Venezuelan deputy to that country.
Translated by JRE