Advertisement

Rebel ex-policeman Oscar Perez among dead in Venezuela shootout

Rebel ex-policeman Oscar Perez among dead in Venezuela shootout
From CBC - January 16, 2018

Officials in Venezuela confirmed Tuesday that a rebellious police officer who led a brazen helicopter attack in Caracas last year was among those killed in a violent shootout with security forces.

Oscar Perez was among the seven who died fighting against police and soldiers Monday in a small mountain community outside of Caracas, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said.

Two police officers were killed and eight others gravely injured, he said.

"The terrorist acts committed by this terrorist cell showed the destabilizing objectives that they were pursuing," Reverol said.

Opposition lawmakers and human rights groups called for a transparent investigation into the deaths after video images showed Perez shouting over gunfire that they wished to surrender.

"We are going to turn ourselves in!" Perez said in the video.

A former police officer, action-movie star and pilot, Perez leaped into the spotlight in June, when he stole a helicopter and used it to lob grenades and fire at two government buildings in Caracas. Nobody was killed in the attack.

Perez, 36, had been one of Venezuela's most wanted fugitives ever since, periodically posting videos on Instagram calling upon Venezuelans to take to the streets against what he called President Nicolas Maduro's tyrannical government.

Perez claimed that he was fighting for Venezuela's freedom from a government that is starving its people. He garnered tens of thousands of followers online and has piqued the curiosity of Venezuelans who either hail him as hero, condemn him as a criminal or questioned if he might be a ruse to support Maduro's assertion that the nation is under attack by opposition conspirators.

Advertisement

Continue reading at CBC »