Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, wanted for allegedly fomenting violence during protests last week that left three people dead, on Tuesday turned himself in to the GNB militarized police during an anti-government rally in Caracas.
Lopez was placed in an armored GNB vehicle that left the rally as hundreds of his followers looked on.
Behind the vehicle carrying Lopez were two automobiles occupied by politicians of his Popular Will party.
Lopez, the former mayor of the capital municipality of Chacao, had said moments before that he had come to turn himself over to "unjust justice" rather going into hiding or leaving the country.
"If my imprisonment serves to wake up a people so that Venezuela may definitively wake up and so the majority of us Venezuelans who want change can build that change in peace and democracy, then this infamous imprisonment is worth it," he said, accusing President Nicolas Maduro of pursuing a vendetta against him.
"Together, we have to be clear that we have to build a way out ... This way out, sisters and brothers, has to be peaceful within the framework of the constitution, but also it has to be on the streets," Lopez said.
At the request of the Attorney General's Office, a Caracas judge last Wednesday ordered Lopez arrested on a raft of charges that include criminal conspiracy, homicide and terrorism.
Maduro personally blamed Lopez after three people died during protests in Caracas and several other Venezuelan cities to demand the ouster of the leftist president, who said a far-right element of the opposition was seeking to overthrow the government through violence.
Press accounts said personnel belonging to the Sebin intelligence service opened fire in the vicinity of the demonstration last Wednesday.
Maduro has acknowledged that some Sebin personnel disobeyed an order to stay off the streets last week and the government announced Tuesday that the head of the spy service had been fired. EFE