Jose Alberto Socorro Hernandez, also known as ‘Pepero,’ one of those arrested after the failed raid in Venezuela, said in a video broadcast Wednesday on Venezuela’s State Television that he followed orders from a US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent to create “an alleged confrontation between gangs” and distract the attention of authorities while the maritime incursion into the country was taking place.
“I was asked to create chaos in several popular areas of Caracas. They asked me to contact drug traffickers, under threat from the DEA, to collaborate in this process,” said ‘Pepero’, who added that he hired Petare crime boss, also known as ‘Wilexis’, to create “an alleged confrontation between gangs, with weapons of war, without any casualties.”
According to ‘Pepero’, this action sought to distract all police forces of the Venezuelan state “in order to fulfil the objectives” agreed “with the paramilitary groups that were going to disembark in La Guaira.”
Last Sunday, a maritime incursion into Venezuelan territory was reportedly stopped by government forces. Among those detained are at least two US citizens who were acting as mercenaries employed by US company Silvercorp, according to available reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has denied his country was involved in this operation.