Venezuelan authorities have arrested the mayor of a western city on accusations of fueling anti-government protests in the South American country.
Daniel Ceballos, the mayor of San Cristobal, was detained on Wednesday at a hotel in the capital Caracas, where he had been attending a meeting of opposition mayors, an aide for the official said.
Venezuela’s Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres also told state TV that Ceballos was arrested by intelligence agents on the charge of inciting “civil rebellion.”
“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.
Earlier on Monday, Venezuela’s top court ordered four opposition municipalities, including San Cristobal, to clear the cities from barricades set up by anti-government demonstrators.
Venezuela has been the scene of violent pro- and anti-government protests since mid-February, which have left at least 30 people dead and hundreds more injured.
The opposition blames the government of President Nicolas Maduro for rampant crime, soaring inflation and shortage of essential goods.
The president, however, says the opposition seeks to launch a coup d’état in Venezuela with the backing of Washington.