Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez, who was wanted by authorities, turned himself in on Tuesday during an opposition rally in Caracas.
Mr. Lopez had been on the run since an arrest warrant was issued against him last week for allegedly instigating street violence that killed three people and injured more than 60. He had been planning to turn himself in during the demonstration, which was held to show support for the dissident leader.
The daily El Universal reported that Mr. Lopez addressed demonstrators on Plaza Brion, in eastern Caracas, then walked towards the police cordon. He was handcuffed and taken away by members of Venezuela’s National Guard.
“I am turning myself in to an unfair, corrupt justice system that does not try people in accordance with the constitution and the law,” he said. “If my arrest serves to awaken the people, I take it upon myself.” “I will never leave Venezuela,” Mr. Lopez told demonstrators.
To remain in hiding, he said, might lead some to believe that he had “something to hide,” so he chose to turn himself in. Before doing so, he said he wanted to make it clear he was fighting the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “for the people of Venezuela who hare currently suffering long lines, shortages.” “The young have neither jobs nor future,” Mr. Lopez said.
Earlier, anti-riot brigades tried to block access to the rallying point for the opposition demonstration, although authorities eventually allowed demonstrators to gather at Plaza Brion. Nearby areas were occupied by pro-government demonstrators.