The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice collects 11 open files against 33 civilians, 6 soldiers and 6 policemen implicated in various crimes, as reflected on its website. Nine of these files rest in the courts of Bolívar, one in Barinas and the other in Caracas.
The magistrates collect ex officio the aforementioned files to decide whether they are brought to their attention or distributed in another court. They presume that there are irregularities in the processing of the 45 people.
One of these causes (CJPM-CM-025-2021) is related to the process followed against five soldiers accused of planning a coup to displace the government of President Nicolás Maduro, an action that would take place in March 2018 and later in May 2020.
These five soldiers are Lieutenant Colonels of the Army Igbert José Marín Chaparro, who was head of the “GB Juan Pablo Ayala” Motorized Cavalry Brigade based in Fort Tiuna; Deibis Esteban Mota Marrero, former head of the “GD Pedro León Torres” Battalion; Erick Fernando Peña Romero; Víctor Eduardo Soto Méndez (Armored Cavalry “GJ José Laurencio Silva”) and Juan Carlos Peña Palmentieri.
The Criminal Chamber ordered the Martial Court to forward the file of these five soldiers.
The magistrates also asked two Bolívar courts to send individual files linked to nine detainees in the framework of the Metal Hands operation ordered in June 2018 by President Nicolás Maduro to stop the smuggling of gold and other minerals.
In this sense, those prosecuted for illicit gold material trafficking are: Marco Antonio Flores Moreno, Antonio Briceño Vera, Luis Miguel Vivas Mata, Julio César Ruíz Romero, Judith Lara Moreno, Melvin José Romero Ramírez, Venetza Leonett Jiménez, Javier José Herrera and Juan Sebastián García Villegas.
De Bolívar also ordered to send to the Criminal Chamber the file opened against 11 defendants for the murder of 17 mine workers who were buried in a common grave, an event that occurred in March 2016 in Tumeremo, Bolívar state. The defendants are allegedly members of Jamilton Ulloa's gang, alias El Topo, who died in a confrontation with military organizations.
Likewise, the magistrates will evaluate whether they address the case related to the murder of the nursing student, Augusto Puga Velásquez, an event that occurred in May 2017 in Ciudad Bolívar on the occasion of the anti-government protests called by an opposition sector. Six police officers are detained for this event.
The file where five people are implicated as members of a minor prostitution network in Apure, will also be evaluated in the Criminal Chamber.
The cause of retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Edward Betancourt was also required by the highest court in the country. This military man is being processed for arms trafficking because in June 2019 he was arrested in El Callao, Bolívar state, when he was transporting 121 rifle cartridges, 9 military caps, three military uniforms, 2 Light Automatic Rifle magazines caliber 7.62x51mm and one of AK-103 caliber 7.62x39mm.
A file in which three arms and ammunition traffickers are also implicated will be analyzed by the Criminal Chamber. The defendants are: Alexandra Patricia Romero Aricaguan, Damians Alberto Caramo Mejías and Jacob Castillo Cabello, who were arrested in Upata (Bolívar), last June and seized 40 cartridges caliber 7,62 x 39 mm.
The file of Karla Lilibeth García Rodríguez, opened in Bolívar, was requested by the magistrates of the Criminal Chamber. This woman was arrested in January 2020 in Upata, Bolívar state, and upon being searched by the military, they obtained four firearms attached to her body in a reducing belt.
Also in Bolívar, eight people who are members of a gang implicated in homicides, forced disappearances and theft of vehicles have been prosecuted since 2017. The file of these subjects will be subjected to an examination in the Criminal Chamber. In that case, the defendants are: Joshua Piñango, Jhoandry Farías, Leonardo Deplabos, Miguel Ángel Romero Figueroa, Simón Rafael Gutiérrez, Marcos Antonio Rouhana Ferrera, Guido Ferrucci Jiménez and Darwin José Cedeño Tovar, all detained in San Félix in Bolívar.
And finally, the Criminal Chamber ordered to collect in Barinas the file of Anderson Daniel Zerpa Bustamante, one of the 14 people charged with the double murder of the Cicpc-Aragua detective Leirry Osmar Bauter Ramírez and his girlfriend Alba Yearling Tiapa Méndez, whose dismembered bodies were located on the El Masparro-El Cambur road, Barinas state, in November 2018.