Political News

Ousted prosecutor says Venezuelan gov't trying to kill her

Posted August 28

— The woman ousted as chief prosecutor by Venezuela's government charged Monday that the socialist administration in her homeland has tried to hire people to kill her.

Luisa Ortega Diaz was in Costa Rica to file a complaint with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

"I have information that the persecution against me continues, and that the government has hired assassins to kill me," Ortega said at a news conference with Costa Rica's chief prosecutor, Jorge Chavarria.

"I cannot go back, they will put me in jail, disappear me, torture me," she added. "They have searched my house twice and persecuted my family."

Ortega broke with Maduro earlier this year, and the constitutional assembly removed her from her post shortly after it convened in early August. She went to Colombia, where she has been offered political asylum.

She said Monday that the Venezuelan government was committing "systematic" rights abuses, including illegal detentions and torture.

Ortega promised last week to deliver evidence showing that Maduro and top administration officials are involved in corruption, though so far she has not done so.

"There are a lot of officials involved in the corruption case with Odebrecht," she said Monday, referring to the giant Brazilian construction firm that has acknowledged paying bribes to officials in Latin America to get contracts. "And then there is President Nicolas Maduro, who took between eight and ten million dollars in cash from the government and gave them to a big company."

Venezuelan officials have denied the corruption accusations.

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