Venezuelan intelligence agents on Wednesday arrested one opposition mayor accused of stoking violent protests, while another was jailed for 10 months in the latest moves against rivals of President Nicolas Maduro.
The steps follow court orders instructing mayors of opposition-run municipalities to dismantle street barricades set up by demonstrators, which have become flashpoints for more than a month of unrest that has killed 31 people.
Daniel Ceballos, mayor of the hard-hit city of San Cristobal near the Colombian border, was detained by the national intelligence service Sebin and accused of “civil rebellion.”
Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres, who also heads Sebin, told state TV that Ceballos was detained by agents acting on an order from court in western Tachira state.
“This is an act of justice for a mayor who not only failed to meet his obligations under the law, but also facilitated and supported all the irrational violence in this city,” he said.