Venezuelan lawmaker who taunted government opponents slain at home

A rising star in Venezuela's ruling socialist party has been stabbed to death in his home and officials said Thursday it was an carefully planned murder.

Twenty-seven-year-old Congressman Robert Serra, a lawyer by training, was elected to Congress in 2010 as a member of the ruling party after gaining prominence organizing youth to counter a wave of destabilizing student protests in 2007.

Neighbors discovered his body and that of a woman, Maria Herrera, in his house in the working class La Pastora district of Caracas Wednesday night. Mireya Midolo, who lives nearby, said her son had gone to check after seeing two large white motorcycles with their motors running in front of the house and the doors to the home open.

"There was no sound of the door being forced or cries or anything," she said.

She said she was surprised that the bodyguards who often accompanied Serra were not present.

Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said at a news conference that the attack was "an intentional homicide, planned and executed with great precision." He did not give details about a possible motive.