The dissident Venezuelan lieutenant kidnapped from his apartment in Santiago was murdered, confirms the Chilean Prosecutor's Office

Héctor Barros commented that, according to estimates, Ronald Ojeda died approximately seven days ago.

Chilean prosecutor Héctor Barros, who is leading the investigation into the kidnapping of Ronald Ojeda, confirmed the death of the Venezuelan lieutenant who lived in Chile after defecting from the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.

On Friday night, the prosecutor revealed that Ojeda’s body was found buried in the afternoon in the Santiago commune of Maipú. “The approximate date of death indicates that it is between seven and 10 days, coinciding with the date on which the kidnapping occurred,” he revealed.

Hours of uncertainty

The case of the kidnapping of Ronald Ojeda took an unexpected turn this Friday afternoon when the Chilean Police detained the first suspect without providing further details. The mystery deepened when the discovery of a body was announced during an operation linked to the investigation.

The Organized Crimes Team (ECOH) of the Metropolitan Prosecutor’s Office of Chile, led by Barros, previously reported on the first arrest of a suspect in relation to the case during an operation in Maipú, which was carried out within the framework of the investigation of the kidnapping of Ojeda. The prosecutor announced that the suspect is a 17-year-old Venezuelan teenager who is currently in custody at the facilities of the Special Police Investigation Brigade (BIPE).

So far, no information has been provided regarding the extent of the suspect’s involvement, nor have other details related to the arrest been revealed.

Barros also reported the discovery of a human body buried where the operation was being carried out. “Investigative proceedings are being carried out in the commune of Maipú, where in the afternoon a body was found buried under a cement structure, and the police found a body inside a suitcase. The victim’s identity is still being determined,” he said.


Chile accused of collaborating in the kidnapping

Recently, a report raised the possibility that a police collaboration agreement between Chile and Venezuela, signed in January, committed the Chilean government to carry out an “exchange of biometric and ten-print information” of Venezuelan dissidents who are in Chilean territory, which could have facilitated the kidnapping of Ojeda. But Chile denies that the reports are true.

“The effort that Chile has made to have a collaboration with Venezuela is to persecute organized crime, not to carry out political persecutions. The last thing we would do would be lend ourselves to be part of that country’s internal disputes with its opponents (...) Nobody has asked, nobody has dared to think that Chile could be part of the persecution of political leaders who are of that nature in Chile, as was the case of Mr. Ojeda,” stated the Minister of the Interior of Chile, Carolina Tohá.

Ojeda’s mother pleaded: “Don’t leave him alone”

Omaira Moreno Ojeda, mother of Ronald Ojeda, the former Venezuelan military officer kidnapped in Chile, publicly asked the government of Chile to find her son. The lieutenant’s mother referred to the rumors about her son’s case and requested Chile to comment.

“Speculations are growing a lot, so I am still waiting for the government of Chile to make a statement and end the speculation and we can get my son alive. All this without hindering the investigations in which we trust,” she said. “Don’t leave him alone, help me keep hope alive,” she added.