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Guaid ó denies links with ‘Los Rastrojos’ and accuses Maduro of “distracting attention from the core”

September 13, 2019


The self-proclaimed “president in charge” of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, denied Friday any link with 'Los Rastrojos', in response to the appearance of photographs with two members of this Colombian criminal gang, while accusing the Government by Nicolás Maduro to use these images to “distract attention from the central.”

The snapshots were known this Friday but were captured last February coinciding with the celebration of the Live Venezuela concert on the Colombian border to get humanitarian aid. In them, Guaidó appears with two alleged leaders of the narco-paramilitary group known by the alias 'El Brother' and 'El Menor', as confirmed by the Colombian Police.

The Progresar Foundation in Norte de Santander, who has released these images, has suggested that Guaidó crossed the border with the help of 'Los Rastrojos'. The truth is that it is not yet known how it arrived in Colombian territory, since in those days the borderline was sealed.

“Photographs ask me for thousands,” Guaidó said, asked by the press about whether he knew who the people with whom he was being photographed were. In addition, he has stated that he is glad that 'El Brother' and 'El Menor' were arrested last June in the middle of an internal struggle of 'Los Rastrojos'.

On how he arrived in Colombia, Guaido has admitted that it was not easy because, as he has said, he and his team met with blockades and even armed confrontations, and stressed that the objective was “to seek humanitarian aid for the people of Venezuela” . “They are going to see how we managed to pass” the border, he said, advancing that he will publish some “unpublished videos” of the moment.

For Guaidó, the appearance of these photographs, which the president of the Constituent Assembly and 'number two' of the ruling party, Diosdado Cabello, has exhibited on his television program, are proof that “Maduro's regime protects drug traffickers” . “The border is absolutely plagued by paramilitaries and guerrillas,” he lamented.

In this regard, he has challenged Cabello to explain how those photographs came to his WhastApp account. “The big question here is how they get that picture, because they ask me for thousands of photos, but that they pass it to you … Who passed it to Diosdado Cabello? Who then has the link?”

In addition, he has again demanded that the Government of Maduro give Colombia to “all the irregular” on Venezuelan soil, among which he specifically mentioned the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the FARC dissidents' Iván Márquez 'and' Jesus Santrich '.

The Venezuelan attorney general, Tarek William Saab, reported Friday that, “given the serious evidence that has been made public in recent hours, regarding the connection of Juan Guaidó with the narco-paramilitary group known as 'Los Rastrojos', the Public Ministry (…) has decided to open an investigation “against him.

This is the fifth criminal case against Guaidó. He is already being investigated for calling himself “president in charge”, financial irregularities, diversion of funds for humanitarian aid and an alleged secret negotiation to deliver the Essequibo territory to Guyana in exchange for political support from the United Kingdom.

For now, precautionary measures have been issued against him, including a ban on leaving Venezuela – although he has traveled to countries in the region without having had legal consequences – but there is no arrest warrant.

All these accusations are framed in the political crisis that Venezuela is suffering due to the pulse between Maduro and Guaidó so that the international community recognizes them as the only legitimate president.