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  HOME | Venezuela (Click here for more Venezuela news)

Ousted Venezuelan AG Leaves Colombia for Brazil

BOGOTA – Days after arriving here aboard a private plane, Venezuela’s ousted attorney general left Bogota on Tuesday bound for Brazil, Colombian immigration authorities said.

The brief statement from Migracion Colombia did not say whether Luisa Ortega Diaz was accompanied by any of the three other people – including her husband – who traveled with her to this capital late last week.

Colombian media outlets speculated earlier Tuesday that Ortega Diaz might fly to the United States and apply for political asylum.

Ortega Diaz, husband German Ferrer, and two other people arrived in Bogota late last Friday aboard a private plane that took off from Aruba.

Reports in the Colombian press identified the two people who accompanied Ortega Diaz and Ferrer as the former attorney general’s chief of staff, Gioconda Gonzalez, and anti-corruption prosecutor Arturo Vilar Esteves.

President Juan Manuel Santos wrote Monday on Twitter that the four Venezuelans were “under the protection of the Colombian government.”

The president’s tweets represented Colombia’s first official comment on the situation of Ortega Diaz, who was fired Aug. 5 by Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC), a body with sweeping powers.

Opposition parties boycotted the July election for delegates to the ANC, which is made up exclusively of allies of leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

Ortega Diaz and her lawmaker husband are from Maduro’s PSUV party, but broke from the president a few months ago amid institutional conflict between the opposition-controlled congress and a Supreme Court aligned with the government.

Protests and political violence have left more than 100 people dead in Venezuela since April 1, including partisans of all stripes, police and bystanders.

As attorney general, Ortega Diaz publicly criticized the security forces for their handling of the demonstrations, while Maduro’s administration accused the nation’s top prosecutor of failing to crack down hard enough on violent opponents of the government.

Last week, the ANC ordered a search of Ortega Diaz’s home and lifted the parliamentary immunity of Ferrer, a first step toward indicting him on corruption charges he says are fabricated.

Shortly after that, the couple left Caracas and traveled over land to the Caribbean coast, where they boarded a boat for Aruba.

 

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