Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro says evidence implicates a conservative former Colombian leader in last week’s stabbing death of a loyalist Venezuelan congressman.
Maduro attended the burial of Congressman Robert Serra on Friday and said information points toward Colombia and what he calls “the band of criminals that ex-President Álvaro Uribe has directed all of his life.”
Maduro did not describe the evidence, and Venezuelan officials have not announced any arrests or publicly identified any suspects in the slaying of Serra, who was without his usual contingent of bodyguards when he was killed on Wednesday.
Venezuelan officials have previously implicated Uribe in alleged plots to kill Maduro, though without citing proof.
Uribe, who is currently a senator in Colombia’s Congress, has denied any role in earlier plots. He responded to the new allegations with Twitter posts referring to Maduro’s government as a “murderous dictatorship” and criticized Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for not responding to Maduro’s statements.
Uribe also aimed criticism at Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro, who tweeted that Serra had publicly denounced connections between Uribe and right-wing Venezuelan activist Lorent Saleh, who was deported from Colombia several weeks ago, setting off a political firestorm.
Additional reporting by Associated Press