13-08-2021 Latin American Weekly Report
Venezuela prepares for dialogue as elections loom
In a press conference on 21 August, Cicig’s chief, Colombian jurist Iván Velásquez Gómez, and Attorney General Thelma Aldana, said that “evidence based on 88,920 telephone taps, 5,906 emails and 17 raids suggested close relations between President Pérez Molina, Baldetti and ‘La Línea’ which was apparently also led by Juan Carlos Monzón, Baldetti’s former private secretary, who remains at large. An AG press release issued three days later contained further details, citing conversations between Baldetti – referred to as ‘La Señora’ (since arrested and due to face trial for crimes including illicit association and tax fraud) – regarding the January appointment of a new SAT superintendent, Omar Franco Chacón, who was known within the criminal organisation as ‘El de Anteojitos’. The same press release also cited communications between the SAT leadership and Pérez Molina, who reportedly gave orders to appoint a new head of human resources at the SAT likely to be sympathetic to ‘La Línea’ which made some Q$28m (US$3.66m) through anomalous customs transactions.
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