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Venezuela opens probe into death threats against opposition candidate

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Venezuela’s top prosecutor launched an investigation on Sunday into death threats against a presidential candidate, as fears of political violence in the region have risen following last week’s assassination in Ecuador.

Attorney General Tarek Saab wrote in a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that human rights prosecutors have been assigned to investigate the threats against Delsa Solorzano, a presidential hopeful competing in an opposition primary in October.

The opposition primary aims to pick a standard-bearer to face off against President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling socialists in next year’s general election.

Solorzano, the head of the Citizen Encounter party, said on Saturday that insult-laden death threats were sent to her via a Facebook account, and on X she posted a screen shot that appeared to show a message attributed to Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group threatening to kill her.

Last week, Colombian President Gustavo Petro and the ELN, a Marxist group that has fought Colombia’s government for decades, began a six-month ceasefire as part of an effort to end to their conflict.

The next round of talks between Petro’s government and ELN representatives is expected to begin in Caracas on Monday.

The message posted by Solorzano purportedly from the ELN also mentioned the slain Ecuadorean presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, gunned down last week in Quito.

In her post, Solorzano cited “the grave incidents that recently occurred in Ecuador” for motivating her to speak out.