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Monday, 06 July 2020

Venezuela opposition mayor ordered held: Prosecutors

AFP , Saturday 21 Feb 2015
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Views: 672

Venezuela prosecutors on Friday ordered the continued detention of Caracas opposition Mayor Antonio Ledezma, who was arrested a day earlier in an alleged coup plot.

Prosecutors "achieved custody for the mayor of Caracas," officials said in a statement.

Ledezma, who was re-elected as mayor in 2013, will be held in Ramo Verde prison, the same jail on the outskirts of the capital currently housing another opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, who was arrested a year ago.

Masked intelligence service agents arrested Ledezma over what socialist President Nicolas Maduro alleges was a coup plot financed by the United States and directed from Washington, claims the United States dismissed.

As evidence of the supposed coup, Maduro cited a newspaper advertisement signed by Ledezma, Lopez and ousted lawmaker Maria Machado entitled "National agreement for the transition."

The article details a number of economic and political proposals.

Ledezma was first elected in 2009, but many of his powers have been stripped by the central government over the years.

Maduro's popularity has plummeted to 20 percent amid a growing shortage of basic goods, massive lines outside supermarkets and soaring inflation of almost 70 percent in the recession-hit country.

He has frequently made claims of coup plots.

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