On May 3, one year after the failed Operation Gideon in which mercenaries tried to enter Venezuelan territory to attack Venezuelan institutions, the Public Ministry presented a report on the actions taken by the Venezuelan state to punish terrorism and mercenary invasion attempts.
To date, the Prosecutor’s Office has requested 114 arrest warrants and 33 search warrants. Likewise, the Prosecutor General, Tarek William Saab, reported through his Twitter account the apprehension in flagrante of 34 subjects involved and 51 others on arrest warrants—a total of 85 people nationwide brought before the 4th Control Court on Terrorism. “They were all accused,” the official pointed out.
Saab stated that 18 indictment hearings were held “in which the participants in the operation admitted the facts and gave important information to identify and apprehend others investigated.”
Out of the 85 people investigated, 54 confessed in light of the strong evidence presented by the Public Ministry, and were sentenced in preliminary hearings to penalties ranging from 12 to 24 years in prison.
Among those convicted for the participation in the operation are mercenaries such as captains Antonio Sequea Torres, Víctor Pimienta, and Jesús Manuel Ramos López, among other leaders of the failed incursion. In addition, two mercenaries of US nationality, Luke Alexander Denman and Airan Berry, as well as financiers of the operation [were convicted].
The hearing to open the trial of those involved who did not confess is set for May 13, 2021. There are still 63 cases of individuals whose arrest is pending.
1) #BALANCE A 1 AÑO DE LA OPERACIÓN GEDEÓN el @MinpublicoVE comunica las acciones #judiciales emprendidas por el Estado Venezolano para sancionar el #TERRORISMO y los intentos de #Ocupación mercenaria: Hemos solicitado 114 órdenes de aprehensión y 33 órdenes de allanamiento. pic.twitter.com/28dHnAZuUo
— Tarek William Saab (@TarekWiliamSaab) May 3, 2021
The attack was plotted and organized in Colombia using mercenaries who left from there in speedboats. They tried to enter Venezuelan territory through the beaches of the central states of La Guaira and Aragua.
Their mission was to carry out attacks on military installations and strategic infrastructure, and to carry out selective assassinations of members of the government, including the kidnapping or assassination of Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro.
The plan was the result of a criminal contract for political purposes, and involved Venezuelan military deserters, US instructors, drug-trafficking networks and the authorization of former deputy Guaidó.
Featured image: Members of the special forces unit spot an empty boat on the shore, after Venezuela’s government announced a failed mercenary incursion, in Macuto, Venezuela, May 3, 2020. Reuters/Manaure Quintero.
(RedRadioVE) by Daniela Jimenez
Translation: Orinoco Tribune