Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rosales Located...in Lima

Opposition leader and mayor of Maracaibo Manuel Rosales, who has been absent from his post for the past few weeks after being indicted on charges of corruption dating to his time as governor of Zulia state, has been found in Lima, Peru.

On Tuesday, the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio cited annonymous diplomatic sources that Rosales "has been in Lima since this past Sunday." The daily, a long-standing critic of the Venezuelan government under Chávez, claimed that the Rosales was in Peru in order to flee repression in Venezuela. Peruvian authorities, however, have been clear that no request for political asylum has either been made or approved.

Along with Mexico and Colombia, Peru is one of the few governments left in Latin America that openly consorts itself with the US and its hemispheric policies.

Rosales is under investigation for misappropriating funds from the state lottery and for multiple property ventures in the United States. His departure from the mayor's office comes amidst heightened tensions between the central government of Caracas and several municipal and state level opposition officials. Earlier this month, the opposition-dominated legislature of Zulia state and its governor Pablo Perez -- Rosales' hand-picked successor -- declared itself 'in rebellion' to the Bolivarian government, and several other mayors including Antonio Ledezma of the Distrito Capital in Caracas, have sought to impede government attempts to reorganize and redistribute power throughout the country.

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