Police have not yet determined why Eliecer Otaiza, known to many as Maj Otaiza, was shot and killed.
The ex-intelligence officer was a close ally of the late President Hugo Chavez and is a strong supporter of current president Nicolas Maduro. Recently, Otaiza was elected president of the Libertador municipality city council.
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Otaiza was found passed away on Saturday, having sustained four bullet wounds. His body was taken to a morgue but was not conclusively identified until Monday. According to BBC, Otaiza was last seen leaving a friends house on Friday night.
Two lines of thought have been suggested as to why Otaiza may have been killed.
One involves his car. Though Otaiza was found on the outskirts of Caracas, his car was discovered in another area. Numerous bullet holes in the vehicle have led some to believe that his killing was the random act of a car thief.
Another line of thought centers on Otaizas sustained and vocal support for Chávez and the chavista policies that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has retained. Given the countrys current state of chaos, its possible that Otaizas killing was intentional, though law enforcement has yet to find any evidence to point to either a suspect or a specific motive.
Life in the Public Eye
Otaiza has long been a known and controversial figure in Venezuela.
Born on January 7th, 1965, Otaiza spent almost his entire life working for the government and military. After earning a degree in political science, the late city council president went on to join Hugo Chavezs Bolivarian Revolution.
That led to a brief moment in the spotlight in 1992, when Otaiza joined the attempted coup on November 27th. Opponents of the then-president, Carlos Andres Perez, stormed the Miraflores palace. During the melee, Otaiza was shot four times.
In the following years, Otaiza made his way up in rank to become Chavezs chief security officer, director of Disip (Venezuelas special police force), and director of the National Registry of Contractors, according to CNN.
Holding a Torch For Chávez
Much like current Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, Otaiza believed that Hugo Chavezs legacy and policies should continue indefinitely.
He was outspoken in his support of the late leader, and its clear that Chávez thought highly of Otaiza. In the Venezuelan dictators memoir, he recounted the time that Eliecer Otaiza attempted to sneak Chávez out of jail after the 1992 coup attempt. Chávez later made Otaiza part of his personal guard, according to BBC.
Otaizas recent election to city council president gave him a chance to reiterate his support for Venezuelas ex-leader.
According to Ultimas Noticias, Otaiza told supporters that the December election was not just any election: instead, it represented a chance to show the anti-government forceswho have criticized Chávez from every anglethat Chavez lives.
Investigators are expected to look further into Eliecer Otaizas death in the coming days and weeks.