Puebla, Mexico, July 14, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – A prominent member of one of Venezuela’s most controversial right-wing parties was arrested Thursday, after allegedly being found with explosives.
Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) party organiser Carlos Graffe was detained by security forces in the city of Valencia, Carabobo.
Citing information from the Bolivarian National Police, the Carabobo Police have stated Graffe was found in possession of a bag filled with nails, C4 explosives and a detonator.
Right-wing newspaper El Nacional has reported Graffe is now being held by the national intelligence agency, SEBIN, though this hasn’t been officially confirmed.
Graffe’s arrest has been condemned by opposition leaders, while a civil society group he once headed has described the detention as “unjust”.
“Carlos, who today as usual, was in the city of Valencia promoting democratic values and citizen participation, was intercepted when leaving a local clinic, arbitrarily arrested and until now we do not know his whereabouts,” stated FuturoPresente, a youth training organisation that Graffe headed in 2010.
“Since 2010, Carlos has stood out for being a great promoter of human rights, a young man who, like every member and graduate of this foundation, works only for the future and freedom of our country,” they claimed.
While the government of President Nicolas Maduro is yet to comment on the case, Venezuela has seen a number of high profile bombings in recent months. The latest took place on Monday, when an improvised explosive device ripped through a National Guard patrol in the wealthy Caracas neighbourhood of Altamira. In another major attack, a stolen helicopter was used to drop grenades on government buildings in Caracas late last month.
The suspected pilot, former police officer and B-grade action movie star Oscar Perez remains at large.
Despite a nationwide manhunt, Perez made a public appearance in Caracas on Thursday night. According to witnesses, Perez attended an opposition rally and addressed roadside crowds and journalists. After giving a short speech that was shared online, Perez reportedly departed the scene on a motorbike.