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Weekly Report - 15 July 2021 (WR-21-28)

VENEZUELA: Maduro spies opportunity in Caracas gang carnage

The most notable arrest in response to last week’s three-day shootout between Caracas street gangs and the police was not that of a gang member, but a politician. Freddy Guevara, the national coordinator for the opposition party Voluntad Popular, was arrested by intelligence officers on 12 July, ostensibly for having “links with extremist and paramilitary groups associated with the Colombian government”. Venezuela’s opposition, and much of the international community, maintain that the government led by President Nicolás Maduro is taking advantage of a security meltdown in the capital to persecute its critics on trumped-up charges.

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