Miguel Rodríguez Torres

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Miguel Rodríguez Torres
Miguel Rodríguez Torres 2014.png
Miguel Rodríguez Torres at a military ceremony in 2014
Director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service
In office
2002 – April 2013
Minister of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace
In office
April 2013 – 24 October 2014
Succeeded byCarmen Meléndez
Personal details
Born (1962-01-21) January 21, 1962 (age 57)
Alma materMilitary Academy of the Venezuelan Army
Military service
Branch/serviceVenezuelan Army
RankMajor General (Venezuela).PNG Major general

Miguel Eduardo Rodríguez Torres (born 21 January 1964) was the Minister of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace of Venezuela from 2013, until he was replaced by Carmen Meléndez on 24 October 2014.[1]

Early life[edit]

Torres was born in 1964 at the Dr. Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital in Caracas.

Military career[edit]

In 1980, he attended the Military Academy of Venezuela.[2]

1992 coup attempt[edit]

During the February 1992 coup attempt carried out by Hugo Chávez, Rodríguez Torres took part in the conspiracy.[3] Chávez's goal, assisted by Cuban president Fidel Castro, was to capture and kill President Carlos Andrés Pérez and then establish former president Rafael Caldera into the presidency.[4][5] Rodríguez Torres, an army captain at the time, was given the task of capturing and killing President Pérez after another coup conspirator refused to participate after discovering that Rafael Caldera would be placed as president.[4][5]

President Pérez, who had recently arrived from Davos, learned of the coup threat upon his return, leaving the airport in a concealed fashion which surprised Rodríguez Torres, who quickly pursued the fleeing president with his fellow militants, firing at his vehicle.[4][5] Ultimately, the coup failed and the conspirators, including Rodríguez Torres, were imprisoned. After being jailed for 25 months, Rodríguez Torres was released in 1994 through an act of amnesty by Caldera, who had just been elected president.

Political career[edit]

Rodríguez Torres was director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, Venezuela's intelligence services, from 2002 to 2013.[6]

Following the election of Nicolás Maduro into the presidency in April 2013, Rodríguez Torres was made the Minister of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace.[6] After the murder of former Miss Venezuela Mónica Spear, an incident that provoked widespread outrage, he declared there would be "adjustments to police structures and operations" and "to existing anti-crime plans"[7]

Under his ministerial oversight during the 2014 Venezuelan protests, he ordered repressive acts against peaceful protesters, with two of his own close associates killing the first victims of the protest movement on 12 February 2014, causing further unrest.[6]

Following an October 2014 incident in which multiple colectivo members were killed during a CICPC raid, members of colectivos called for Rodríguez Torres to be removed from his interior minister position. Days later on 24 October 2014, Rodríguez Torres was removed from his position during a state-run television program.[6]

Dissident[edit]

In recent years, Rodríguez Torres has been an increasingly vocal critic of the government, alongside dissident chief state prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz. In May 2017, news outlets reported that Rodríguez Torres was considering a bid for the presidency, offering a 'third way' or middle ground between the opposition and Chavismo.[8] In June 2017, he expressed his opposition to the presidential initiative to convene a National Constituent Assembly, and called instead for the scheduling of new elections.[9][10]

Arrest[edit]

On 13 March 2018, Rodríguez Torres, who had spoken the previous day at an opposition rally, was arrested by SEBIN agents and brought to the Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar headquarters in Sucre, Miranda. The Bolivarian government stated that the general had attempted to sow discord among the Venezuelan armed forces.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sale Miguel Rodríguez Torres; Carmen Meléndez nueva ministra de Interior, Justicia y Paz (+Video)". Venezuela Al Dia. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Cuadros de la Revolución: Miguel Rodríguez Torres" (in Spanish). apporea. 17 April 2015.
  3. ^ Reuters sobre Rodríguez Torres
  4. ^ a b c Nelson, Brian A. (2009). The silence and the scorpion : the coup against Chávez and the making of modern Venezuela (online ed.). New York: Nation Books. pp. 1–3. ISBN 1568584180.
  5. ^ a b c Maria Delgado, Antonio (16 February 2015). "Libro devela sangriento objetivo de la intentona golpista de Hugo Chávez". El Nuevo Herald. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Rodríguez Torres, el allegado de Chávez que fue execrado por Maduro". Efecto Cocuyo (in Spanish). 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  7. ^ Crime and Impunity (The Economist)
  8. ^ Goodman, Joshua (8 May 2017). "Venezuela's ex-spy chief promotes possible presidential bid". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Rodríguez Torres pidió a Maduro suspender la Constituyente". El Nacional. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Rodríguez Torres: "La ANC no solucionará los problemas de los venezolanos"". El Nacional. 25 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.