Venezuelan businessman and former government official would have killed his 3-year-old son in Coconut Grove building, Miami

Investigation underway into the shocking deaths of Venezuelan-American businessman José Manuel Gonzalez Testino and his 3-year-old son in Miami. Tragedy hits as businessman faced charges of bribery and money laundering in the US.

Miami police are investigating the apparent murder-suicide of a 53-year-old adult identified as Jose Manuel Gonzalez Testino and his 3-year-old son, which occurred Tuesday night at an apartment in a luxury Coconut Grove building.

Authorities first received reports of a situation at 2669 South Bayshore Drive at approximately 8:00 p.m. When they arrived at the scene, they found the bodies.

Investigators have deemed it a homicide-suicide based on the shape of the gunshot wounds.

The 3-year-old boy was identified as Jose Manuel Gonzalez.

Gonzalez Testino is a former Venezuelan government official about to enter federal prison on charges related to a bribery and corruption scheme connected to Venezuela’s oil company, PDVSA, and its U.S. subsidiary, Citgo.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas, Testino and an accomplice paid at least USD 629,000 in bribes to a former PDVSA official in exchange for his taking steps to “steer” oil company projects to his companies, giving him a priority in receiving payments and awarding him PDVSA contracts in US dollars instead of Venezuelan bolivars. In 2018, Testino was arrested at Miami International Airport.

The local press also reports that Testino collaborated with the US justice system to investigate a corruption scheme linked to PDVSA and its US subsidiary, Citgo.

File: Police cars in front of a building in Florida (REUTERS / Marco Bello)
File: Police cars in front of a building in Florida (REUTERS / Marco Bello)

Meanwhile, journalist Maibort Petit reported that Testino had pleaded guilty to money laundering before a US court and that sentencing was scheduled for March 24, 2023.

Suppose you have thoughts linked to suicide or know someone who does. In that case, there are hotlines in Spanish and English for assistance at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Association for Suicide Prevention. The helpline is 1-800-273-8255, the service is toll-free, available around the clock, and calls are confidential.