Venezuela officials raid fired attorney general’s home; 37 people killed in prison clash

Venezuelan intelligence officers raided the home of the former attorney general, who was fired this month after she broke ranks with President Nicolas Maduro, while her replacement urged the arrest of her lawmaker husband.

Four motorbikes and seven patrol cars belonging to the SEBIN intelligence service were seen outside the Caracas home of the ex-attorney general, Luisa Ortega, AFP journalists observed. “At this moment SEBIN is searching my home as revenge by this government for my fight against totalitarianism,” Ortega wrote on Twitter. 

She did not say where she and her husband were. Ortega was sacked two weeks ago as the first act of a new supreme constituent assembly loyal to Maduro that has set about quashing dissent and hemming in the opposition, which controls the rival legislature. 

Earlier on Wednesday, her successor, Tarek William Saab, said he had asked officials to go after Ortega’s husband, German Ferrer, a former loyalist lawmaker who has split from the ruling Socialist Party. 

A decision on whether to grant an arrest warrant against Ferrer — who has parliamentary immunity — rests with Venezuela’s supreme court, which up to now has systematically sided with Maduro. Ortega in recent weeks accused Maduro of “dictatorial ambitions.” 

In other news, at least 37 people were killed during clashes between armed inmates and security forces at a small prison in southern Venezuela, the state's governor said Wednesday. 

Gov. Liborio Guarulla said the bloodshed came after fighting erupted between inmates and their jailers Tuesday night in the prison in Puerto Ayacucho, capital of sparsely populated Amazonas state. He said security forces raided the facility seeking to restore order in the prison, where the inmates had seized control several weeks ago. 

The office of Venezuela's chief prosecutor said on social media that it was investigating the incident. It said 14 prison guards were also injured.

 

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