14ymedio, Miami, 7 June 2018 — Venezuelan police are investigating the murder of the Cuban doctor Candelario Martinez, 54, who served as director of a Comprehensive Diagnostic Center. The crime occurred in the Salto Angel residential estate, located in Unare, an area of eastern Venezuela known for high rates of violence.
According to local media reports, neighbors were alarmed when they heard the cries for help from Martínez’s roommate, who found the body with a bullet in the head and a cut on the face.
Bolivar State Police are not ruling out that the motive for the crime was robbery. Among the victim’s belongings that have not been found are his car, a Ford Fiesta Power, and several household items. According to local reports, the locks of the house were not forced.
The body was taken to the Pathological Anatomy Unit to perform the forensic autopsy. So far, the Cuban Medical Mission in Venezuela has not issued a statement on the matter.
Cuba maintains a large group of professionals in Venezuela, working in the so-called “missions” that are part of a collaboration agreement between both countries and that Caracas pays for with the oil that it sends to the Island. The export of professional services is the main source of income in the Cuban economy. According to official figures, Cuba’s national treasury takes in about 10 billion dollars annually for the services of Cuban medical personnel, who are sent to many different countries.
Venezuela is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. In 2017 there were almost 27,000 murders, of which more than 5,000 were attributed to the security forces. That same year 20% of the population was a victim of crime, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence.
Although the contract terms of the Cuban medical collaboration are not public, in other cases of murders in Venezuela it has been discovered that the relatives of the Cuban victims do not receive compensation.
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