The mayor of Valencia, Venezuela's third-largest city, has been taken to a criminal court over corruption charges. Edgardo Parra is also a member of the ruling Socialist Party. He was arrested on Saturday after Bolivarian Intelligence Service also known as "Sebin" raided his home. Fabricated documents and passbooks along with cash were found at his home.
A statement from the attorney-general's office said Sebin agents found "criminal items of interest" during the raid to arrest the socialist mayor. This, has been the most high profile arrest so far in President Nicolas Maduro's anti-corruption campaign. The move against Parra came as the National Assembly is expected to approve Maduro's request for decree powers.However, critics believe that the mayor is just a scapegoat to justify Maduro’s proposal.
Meanwhile, Maduro says fast-track decree powers are essential so he can step up an anti-graft campaign which has included the arrest of the boss of a big state mining firm, and uncovered the theft of $84 million from a fund partially. Consequently Maduro's supporters claim the current fight against corruption is beyond political parties and allies.
Although critics call the battle as propaganda, socialists say Maduro is heading a real struggle by prosecuting several leaders of the Bolivarian Revolution. Experts believe this will influence municipality elections next December.