The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the assertions regarding the kidnapping of the Colombian citizen Rodrigo Granda.

In the face of the diffusion of press releases, reports, declarations, and speculations by organizations and personalities through national and international media, intended to request that our government assume certain postures concerning the case of the possible kidnapping of the Colombian citizen identified as Rodrigo Granda, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela hereby informs that:

As soon as the state security agencies were notified of the possible kidnapping, in national territory, of the citizen in question, they opened an investigation as is always done in these cases. Only this way, could his presence in Venezuela, as well as the circumstances under which he was captured, be determined.

The investigations carried out so far enable us to emphatically assure that:

  1. The national government has not invited Mr. Rodrigo Granda to any activity, either in Venezuela or abroad. Therefore, holding this government accountable for an invitation that was not made, and for the protection of a citizen who entered the country in secrecy, is irresponsible and completely absurd.
  2. The investigations carried out so far, reveal that this citizen had attended some of the activities of the II Bolivarian Congress of the Peoples. This is an event that has been held in several countries, and that on this occasion was summoned by the Foundation of the Congress under the same name. The information available to this moment indicates that Rodrigo Granda’s presence took place under no invitation, as can be seen in the lists of guests and attendants. Nevertheless, the investigations continue in order to determine, among other things, the channels that facilitated his attendance and the accountabilities to be held in this case.
  3. The revision of both the granting of visas by the corresponding consulates, and the immigration records leads to only one conclusion: citizen Rodrigo Granda’s entry into Venezuela was in secrecy, and totally unknown by Venezuelan authorities, with no registration of his name in the mentioned records.
  4. There are serious indications that citizen Rodrigo Granda was kidnapped in Caracas in the surroundings between the Bellas Artes subway station and Clínica Razzetti. The new data gathered during the investigations could involve current and/or former Venezuelan police officers. Therefore, once the legal requirements are met, we will proceed according to the law.
  5. Likewise, there are indications that could involve Colombian officers in this case. Should this be proven, which would be a case of serious violation of the country’s sovereignty, Venezuela will carry out the actions pertinent to the case. Nevertheless, for the sake of the rigorousness and professionalism with which this type of investigation must be conducted, we can not forward any further information.

The investigation process continues, and we do not discard any of the hypotheses. We will make all the efforts necessary, since we must not tolerate the pretension of violating our country’s sovereignty and the consequential implication of Venezuela in a conflict that, though very unfortunate, should only be solved, and can only be solved by the Colombians. Any additional information will be provided as the investigation yields new results.

January 5th 2005

Engineer Jesse Chacón Escamillo