The Latest on Venezuela’s political crisis (all times local):
Venezuela’s pro-government supreme court has ordered the removal and imprisonment of a Caracas area mayor at the center of protests against President Nicolas Maduro.
The court has sentenced Ramon Muchacho to 15 months in prison for not following an order to remove barricades set up by anti-government prostesters in the Chacao district of eastern Caracas.
Muchacho’s whereabouts were not immediately known, but he denounced the ruling on Twitter, saying that “all of the weight of the revolutionary injustice has fallen on my shoulders” for doing his job to guarantee the constitutional right to protest.
Relatively wealthy Chacao was the center of the most intense clashes between protesters and national security forces that have left at least 120 dead and hundreds injured over the past four months.
The U.N. human rights office says it has unearthed “widespread and systematic use” of excessive force, arbitrary detention and other rights violations against demonstrators and detainees in Venezuela.
Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani says preliminary findings suggest there are “no signs” that the situation was improving.
The team’s analysis found security forces were allegedly responsible for at least 46 deaths, and pro-government armed groups were allegedly responsible for 27 among 124 deaths being investigated in connection with demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro’s government. It said it was unclear who the perpetrators of the other deaths were.
The rights office team said Tuesday that violations included “house raids, torture and ill-treatment of those detained in connection with the protests.”
A full report on the team’s findings is expected later this month.
Foreign ministers from 14 nations are meeting in Peru on Tuesday in hopes of finding consensus on a regional response to Venezuela’s growing political crisis.
President Nicolas Maduro’s all-powerful constitutional assembly is forging ahead on promises to punish the embattled leader’s foes.
The assembly was expected to gather at the legislative palace in Caracas for the first time since voting Saturday to remove the nation’s outspoken chief prosecutor, a move that drew condemnation from many of the same regional government that are sending representatives to the meeting in Peru’s capital.
Peru’s president has been vocal in rejecting the new assembly, but the region has…