Venezuela government seeks dissident prosecutor’s exit

CARACAS, (Reuters) – A lawmaker acting on behalf of Venezuela’s government sought yesterday to start court proceedings to dismiss the chief state prosecutor, who has broken with socialist President Nicolas Maduro during opposition protests.

The prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, 59, a former ally of Maduro, has accused security forces of excessive violence, in the highest-profile dissent from within government ranks since anti-government unrest began in April killing at least 72 people.

Ortega also has opposed decisions by the pro-Maduro Supreme Court and National Election Council and said the president’s plan for a new congress to rewrite the constitution threatens democracy and late leader Hugo Chavez’s legacy. That has led to a plethora of counter-accusations by officials against her, ranging from insanity to promoting “terrorist” violence.

Lawmaker Pedro Carreno formally petitioned the Supreme Court on Friday to declare her guilty of “grave offense,” meaning she could be dismissed.

“This lady stopped being the chief prosecutor of the republic and turned into a right-wing political activist,” he said, also requesting Ortega have her property confiscated and be prohibited from leaving the country.

Demonstrations against Maduro have raged since early April, often turning violent as masked protesters with rocks and Molotov cocktails face off against security forces using teargas and water cannons.

The fatalities, mainly from gunshots, have included supporters of both sides, bystanders and security officials. The latest victim on Friday was Nelson Arevalo, 22, killed in a protest in the city of Barquisimeto, authorities said. Opposition sources said he was shot in the neck.

Protesters are seeking elections to end socialist rule in the OPEC nation of 30 million people, plus solutions to a brutal economic crisis, freedom for hundreds of jailed activists, and autonomy for the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Maduro, the 54-year-old former bus driver and self-declared “son” of Chavez, says his foes are seeking a violent coup against him, with U.S. support.

Comments  

Pope ends Latin American trip with warning about political corruption

LIMA,  (Reuters) – Pope Francis celebrated an open air Mass for more than 1 million people yesterday, ending a trip to Chile and Peru marked by tough talk on political corruption but a backlash over what many see as his insufficient resolve to tackle sexual abuse in the Church.

Guatemala businessman, wanted on graft charges, seeks U.S. asylum

GUATEMALA CITY,  (Reuters) – Former Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon, who is wanted on graft charges, has sought asylum in the United States after he was arrested while trying to enter the country, authorities from both nations said.

With 25,339 murders in 2017, Mexico suffers record homicide tally

MEXICO CITY,  (Reuters) – There were more than 25,000 murders across drug-ravaged Mexico in 2017, the highest annual tally since modern records began, government data showed.

“Billionaire bonanza” driving huge global inequality – Oxfamc

LONDON,  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Four out of every five dollars of wealth generated in 2017 ended up in the pockets of the richest one percent, while the poorest half of humanity got nothing, a report published by Oxfam found yesterday.

A proud moment for T&T: President-elect Paula Mae-Weekes

(Trinidad Express) It is official! Retired judge Paula-Mae Weekes is now the President-elect of Trinidad and Tobago.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×