Hundreds of people paid their last respects to Robert Serra and Maria Herrera, his partner, as the bodies of the two murder victims were taken from the National Assembly to the Cementerio General del Sur in Caracas today. Yesterday afternoon, a viewing was held inside the National Assembly’s entrance.
The government has declared three days of mourning.
Marlene Rodriguez, who worker in Serra’s office, believes that Serra might have known somehow that his life was about to end. According to Rodriguez, Serra spoke to his mother at an event on Tuesday, one day before his death. Rodriguez said:
He was always really sweet to his mom, but on that day he was even sweeter. He said that he thanked God for making her his mother and that we would always be grateful for the principles she taught him. Sometimes, people know they’re going to die, that they won’t be here anymore. It looks like Robert knew he would be leaving us.
Below, some pictures of the funeral proceedings today:
Murders Remain a Mystery
Serra’s death remains shrouded in mystery, although the government has already begun to spin the wheels of conspiracy.
National Assembly deputy William Fariñas (PSUV-Nueva Esparta) was on the show Entre Todos on the state-owned VTV television network today, and said that Colombian “paramilitaries” ordered Serra’s death on Tuesday evening:
Fariñas: … they looked for symbolism. They killed a son of the revolution, our son. [They killed] Venezuelan youth. And, this young man [possibly Laurent Saleh] who represents their system, said that there were twenty muñecos [literally, “dolls”] – in paramilitary slang, more than anything, Colombian paramilitary slang – “20 dolls” are 20 people who were prepared and ready.
A targeted assassination, Guillermo – may God protect you and all of us – they do a personality study. “Who is he? What are his strengths? His weaknesses? Who’s he going out with? What does he like? Is he comfortable? Where does he live? Who does he live with? Who are his escorts?” They do a complete study.
Host: Did we become careless with Robert?
Fariñas: Let me tell you something. I think we have to realize that – and President Nicolas Maduro pointed this out yesterday – that we have to strengthen our intelligence and security mechanisms. Us deputies talked about this yesterday. We have to strengthen everything, a plan for security. I have a responsibility as the president of the Permanent Defence Commission to take a careful look at this issue. But, unfortunately, our enemies – [which include] Venezuelan politicians participate, and I’m sad to say, Venezuelan deputies – of the most perverse, rancid kind of opposition, the same ones who sit beside us. Just as there are some deputies with some democratic sense, there are some deputies there using their positions to conspire against our nation.
Fariñas did not offer any evidence for any of his claims.
Capriles: “No Will” To Fix Crime Crisis
Miranda Governor Henrique Capriles said today that there was “no will” on behalf of the government to seriously address the issue of crime. He said that Venezuelans wake up on a daily basis to news of horrific murders, as the ones involving Serra and Herrera. Capriles said:
Every day, 50 Venezuelans are murdered. We’re living through what is probably the worst moment in our history from the point of view of violence, but when you fix a school, when you guarantee children a good education, sports, make them busy since they’re little children, you’re winning the fight against violence.
The investigation into Serra’s murder has hardly begun, and already the government knows who did it. Colombians. The treasonous opposition. Enemies, external and internal. A deputy is allowed to go on television and make all kinds of wild accusations, painting the opposition as conspiring murderers, without a single shred of evidence.
It’s the kind of irresponsibility that ruins a country. When the people running the nation are so careless, so vicious, and so immoral as to use the death of a person to instil fear and suspicions to further their political talking points, what hope is there for the nation?