Looking Beyond the Anderson Cover-Up

While much of the private media plays into Isaías Rodríguez’s game plan by closely covering the smoke screen, Últimas Noticias’ Tamoa Calzadilla keeps up the pressure on a question that seems almost quaint by now: who killed Danilo Anderson?

Anderson Mysterybuster II: The Questions Are Still Alive
“The CIA could want to confuse the investigation,” said Prosecutor General Isaías Rodríguez in an interviewed published by Últimas Noticias on February 18th, 2005. It had been just three months since the hit that ended the life of prosecutor Danilo Anderson.

One month earlier, this newspaper had published information on an alleged extortion network that blackmailed some signators of Carmona’s decree.

Rodríguez was then consulted about a complaint attributed to banker Arístides Maza and commented, “he didn’t press any charges, he only expressed concern and alerted us, because people who were not prosecutors had brought him a notice similar to those brought to the Carmona signators, and he wanted us to investigate.”

What did Prosecutor General Rodríguez do faced with such an accusation? “I instructed Danilo Anderson to open an investigation on those people, but unfortunately he was murdered…” Meaning that, among the many cases he was investigating, Anderson was in charge of this “irregularity.”

[Note for the uniniciated: Calzadilla is pointing out that Anderson was charged with investigating his own gophers.]

The official interview reports published by Últimas Noticias around that time dealt with people close to the prosecutor: his friends, roommate, and sister. They sketched a story of alleged meetings between prosecutor Anderson and bankers, who negotiated in dollars and bolivars.

The police commission in charge of the investigation was changed three times, and the last to leave it was detective José Cuéllar, responsible for the line of inquiry at the time: “there’s no terrorism, the motivation here is economic,” he said off the record to one of the investigators then in charge of the case. At the time, some of them whispered “I will not talk to the press, but if I’m called to testify I am going to say that these reports are real, they are not forgeries.” They are still waiting for the Prosecutor General’s Office to call them to testify.

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the publication in this newspaper of “Anderson Mysterybuster,” containing the first allegations of extortion surrounding Anderson, a story that was built, precisely, around those official interview reports. 18 days later, Rodríguez commented in his interview: “it’s among the best reports written on Danilo…I think it’s a very beautiful, very useful report, which allows us all to draw conclusions about what happened.”

On January 18th, 2006, the Prosecutor General announced that “it has been shown that the reports were forgeries” and although we cannot draw final conclusions at this point, the loose ends are not just the same as they always were, but keep growing.

Could it be due to that maxim by Edmond Locard, the great criminologist, that says “as time passes, the truth escapes”?

Two excellent explanatory charts published along with this article can be seen here and here. (In Spanish, I’m afraid…)

Also, note that Tamoa was later called to testify at the Prosecutor General’s Office in an effort to pressure her into revealing her sources. The charge at the time was of “leaking confidential information.” Only later did it morph, in the fiscalia’s mysterious ways, into the story that the actas were forged.

*Full disclosure: Tamoa is a friend of mine – and for what it’s worth, I think she’s one of the gutsiest, fairest reporters in Caracas.