The government-packed high court sentenced Ramón Muchacho to 15 months in prison
Members of Venezuelan Constituent Assembly pose for a oficial photo after the swear in ceremony at Venezuelan National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. photo: AP/Ariana Cubillos, photo: AP/Ariana Cubillos
08 of August 2017 12:32:12
CARACAS – Venezuela's supreme court ordered the removal and arrest of a Caracas-area mayor at the heart of recent anti-government protests and President Nicolás Maduro's all-powerful constitutional assembly planned to meet again Tuesday, forging ahead on vows to punish the socialist leader's foes.The government-packed high court sentenced Ramón Muchacho to 15 months in prison for not following an order to remove barricades set up in the leafy Chacao district of eastern Caracas where the Emory University MBA graduate has been mayor since 2013. He's the fourth opposition mayor whose arrest the high court has sought in the past two weeks. The court also ordered an investigation into another prominent Caracas-area mayor, David Smolansky, for the same alleged crimes.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.Chacao was previously governed by Leopoldo López, the most prominent activist to have been jailed by the Maduro government, and is the main gathering point for protests that have left at least 124 dead and hundreds more injured or arrested.
JOSHUA GOODMANFABIOLA SANCHEZ