By Pedro Izzo.
“My daughter had no personal motive to take her own life,” said Hoskimoto Lovera, the mother of Mariola Sarahi Parada Lovera, a 2nd Sargent in the Venezuelan Army, who died from a gunshot wound to the head inside Fort Conopoima, home of the 43rd Artillery Brigade in San Juan de Los Morros, Central Venezuela. Her death is a mystery to their relatives.
San Juan is an area of intense criminal activity, and the fort has been hit several times by criminals looking for armaments, including a 2016 robbery of 83 hand grenades.
Lovera said there was no truth in the Army’s version, according to which her 19-year old daughter wrestled an AK-103 assault rifle away from Luis Gonzalez Blanco, the soldier that was watching the armory February 5th and then proceeded to shoot herself.
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The Redi operational area command for the Venezuelan plains said Parada put a round in the chamber and then shot herself. But Lovera does not believe her daughter was able to shoot herself in the head with an assault rifle that is almost one-meter long with the foldable stock deployed.
Suicide version is not convincing
“If she had wanted to take her own life, she would have done it at some other time, during her watch, with her weapon, not there, in the main hallway. We don’t understand why a lot of what is being said but we want this fact that truncated by daughter’s life investigated” Lovera told El Pitazo.
Sunday afternoon, she remembers, only minutes before her death, Mariola visited with her family. “She was there with us, she joked, talked and never showed her spirits to be down. She was only feeling a little ill and I gave her some cold medicine,” Lovera said.
The mother said that three men have been arrested, related to her daughter’s death, including soldier Gonzalez and a first lieutenant Francisco Rujano, who she said was romantically linked to her late daughter. Parada’s mother also asked that the inquiry be taken to civilian, and not military courts.
A police source said the investigation Intelligence Service is still ongoing and no official dictum has been passed beyond the initial suicide version. An expert consulted by El Pitazo said it is extremely difficult for a young woman to shoot herself in the head with such a long weapon.
The AK-103 is 943 millimeters long with its collapsible stock unfolded.