By Nathan Crooks and Jose Orozco
Photographer: Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters light fires during an anti-government demostration in Caracas on Feb. 19, 2014.
Gunfire broke out in parts of Caracas as President Nicolas Maduro addressed the nation and opposition chief Leopoldo Lopez faced arraignment at a military prison for his role in deadly protests that started last week.
Shots were heard in the Altamira neighborhood near a public plaza where hundreds of students gathered earlier in the evening.
Maduro, in a nationally broadcast address, accused the opposition of fomenting violence and said Lopez, head of the Voluntad Popular party, agreed to surrender when he was taken by National Guard troops yesterday.
Lopez, 42, was expected to be arraigned at the Ramo Verde military prison outside Caracas tonight.
A federal court in the capital moved the hearing to the military site, which holds political opponents of former President Hugo Chavez, to ensure Lopez’s safety, his lawyer said.
“You are either for the constitution or you are for violence,” Maduro said.
Maduro said “infiltrators” pretending to be government supporters were trying to get into Caracas buildings and scare the population.
He vowed to bring them to justice.
As he spoke, television showed public workers cleaning up parks struck by violence that has entered its second week and taken at least five lives.
To contact the reporters on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at firstname.lastname@example.org; Jose Orozco in Caracas at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at firstname.lastname@example.org