Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Caracas and a prominent opposition voice against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, was detained Thursday evening after federal intelligence agents raided his office, according to Ledezma’s Twitter account and local media reports. The move comes days after top government officials accused the mayor of being involved in a plot to overthrow Maduro's government.

“Federal police are trying to break into my office at this moment,” Ledezma wrote on Twitter Thursday evening, referencing his office’s Caracas neighborhood.




Richard Blanco, a member of Ledezma’s party, told local news media that the intelligence agents carrying large guns entered the building without a search warrant and took the mayor into custody shortly after he tweeted the message. The agents hit Ledezma in the process, Blanco said.

Minutes later, new messages appeared on Ledezma’s Twitter account purportedly from his wife, Mitzy.

“This is Mitzy, Antonio’s wife,” the tweet read. “They hit him and detained him without a judicial order. I hold Maduro responsible for my husband’s life.”




Members of Ledezma's party were quick to characterize the arrest as a crackdown on opposition members in the country. Maria Corina Machado, another prominent opposition leader, took to Twitter to call his detention an “act of desperation” by Maduro’s government.

Government officials had accused Machado, Ledezma and opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who recently marked the one-year anniversary of his imprisonment for his role in leading last year’s mass antigovernment protests, of being involved in an alleged plot to assassinate President Maduro and overthrow his regime. Last week, Maduro said more than 11 soldiers were arrested after officials discovered they were planning to attack the presidential palace with a jet.

A day before details of the foiled plan came to light, the three opposition leaders had outlined a sweeping plan for a political and economic transition for the country.

Opposition members have cast doubt on claims of an alleged coup, pointing to the government’s lack of physical evidence, as well as the fact that Maduro had made similar claims several times during his presidency without any proof of such plans.