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Arrest warrants issued for two suspects in murder of journalist Orel Sambrano

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 16 February 2009, officials from the Department of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations (Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas, CICPC) detained Rafel Segundo Pérez Martínez, former policeman in Carabobo, accused of being the brains behind the murder of journalist Orel Sambrano, which took place on 16 January in the city of Valencia, State of Carabobo, central Venezuela.

On 21 February, CICPC chief Robinson Castillo ordered the capture of policeman David Yánez Inciarte and Arístides José Carvajal Salgado, a.k.a. "Nene Gallera", accused of committing the crime.

According to Castillo, the suspects belong to the gang known as "Los Piloneros", who were responsible for murdering witnesses and those who assisted an ongoing investigation of the Makled family's connection to drug trafficking.

Sambrano had condemned the Makled family in his news reports, as well as "Los Piloneros", the alleged perpetrators of 18 murders. The journalist was murdered by two hired killers who shot him from a motorcycle as he arrived at a video rental shop in Valencia.

Sambrano was the director of Radio América, where he presented the programme "La nota política de Juan Sebastián". He also edited the weekly "ABC de la Semana" and was a columnist for the newspaper "Notitarde", where he wrote about regional and national politics.

Updates the Sambrano case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/101045

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