CARACAS, Venezuela -- In the wake of civil unrest that left three dead and scores injured in the Venezuelan capital and other cities on Wednesday, President Nicolas Maduro said he would order the arrest of opposition leaders who he claimed were plotting an overthrow.
Witnesses said vigilantes arrived on motorcycles to harass the marchers, and that some fired indiscriminately into crowds. On Thursday morning, Atty. Gen. Luisa Ortega Diaz said that of the 61 reported injured, 17 were police and other public officials. There were 69 arrests.
Scarcities of basic foodstuffs, high inflation, violent crime and the collapse in the value of the national currency, the bolivar, have provoked rising discontent in Venezuela. The dollar is trading on the black market for as many as 80 bolivars, more than 10 times the official rate of 6.3 bolivars.
Lopez said he was detained Monday by authorities as he boarded a flight from Caracas to San Cristobal, in the western Tachira state, to participate in opposition meetings. He was later released.
"As we have announced in previous statements, we find ourselves in a extremely difficult situation for reasons beyond our control that affect our operational continuity," the company said.