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  • Murder suspect Rafael Perez (R) is pictured next to Lilian Tintori, wife of detained Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.

    Murder suspect Rafael Perez (R) is pictured next to Lilian Tintori, wife of detained Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. | Photo: @MabyPerezV

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The murder of Liana Hergueta has exposed possible links between opposition figures and right-wing paramilitary groups.

The wife of detained Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Lilian Tintori, has been connected to a high-profile murder case in Venezuela through photos shared on social media.

The photos of Tintori with Rafael Perez, the primary suspect in the murder of Liana Hergueta, were discovered Monday.

Perez has also been photographed alongside Carlos Vecchio, national coordinator of the far-right Popular Will party and Henrique Capriles, the right-wing candidate defeated by President Nicolas Maduro in the most recent presidential election. 

The murder of Liana Hergueta has caused a sensation in Venezuela, due to the severity of the crime and the possible political motives. Officials believe opposition politician Carlos Trejo to be the mastermind behind her murder.

Officials from the Ministry of Justice further suspect that Hergueta was killed for political reasons by elements connected to paramilitaries. 

Security officials believe that there are links between right-wing opposition groups and activists with paramilitaries from neighboring Colombia. The penetration of paramilitary activity in politics is a pressing problem in Colombia and security officials are concerned that similar methods may be practiced in Venezuela as well.

The Venezuelan national government has been carrying out a campaign against organized crime and paramilitary groups.

Officials from the Ministry of Justice said that Perez testified that he received training from Antonio Rivero, a retired general and opposition member. Justice officials are currently looking to interview Rivero, who is currently living in Miami, for his alleged role in violent blockades in the first quarter of 2014.

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