Venezuela opposition party says security forces detain family of Caracas activist

·1-min read

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition party Popular Will said on Wednesday that security forces detained family members of a Caracas activist, days after the arrest of opposition leader Freddy Guevara fueled concerns about a possible wave of detentions.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro this week accused Popular Will leaders of being linked to a recent outbreak of gang violence in the capital, and prosecutors are expected to charge Guevara with terrorism and treason.

A new round of arrests could scuttle planned talks between the opposition and the government in Mexico meant to ease years of political standoff that has taken place to the backdrop of a severe economic crisis and mass migration.

"The regime's henchmen arbitrarily detained Mrs. Maria Coromoto Gonzalez, mother of Javier Gonzalez," the party said on Twitter. "Given that they couldn't find him, they also took his brother Michael Gonzalez and his cousin Michel Gonzalez."

Venezuela's information ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Parliament Chief Jorge Rodriguez on Tuesday had called on state prosecutors to investigate members of Popular Will, including Gonzalez, after presenting images of cell phone chats he said were evidence they had conspired with gangs.

Popular Will leaders quickly dismissed the images as fake.

Police on Monday also raided the home of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who in 2015 was elected as a legislator for Popular Will and in 2019 was recognized by the United States as the country's legitimate leader.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth and Vivian Sequera; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting