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Alleged mastermind behind slaying of Venezuelan lawmaker captured, country says

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29:  Handcuffs are seen on the hands of a twenty-year old "Street Villains" gang member who was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers from the 77th Street division on April 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The 77th Street division patrol the same neighborhood that truck driver Reginald Denny was nearly beaten to death by a group of black assailants at the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues. It?s been 20 years since the verdict was handed down in the Rodney King case that sparked infamous Los Angeles riots.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Handcuffs are seen on the hands of a twenty-year old "Street Villains" gang member who was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers from the 77th Street division on April 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The 77th Street division patrol the same neighborhood that truck driver Reginald Denny was nearly beaten to death by a group of black assailants at the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues. It?s been 20 years since the verdict was handed down in the Rodney King case that sparked infamous Los Angeles riots. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

Venezuelan authorities say the purported leader of a Colombian paramilitary group who they allege masterminded the October slaying of socialist Venezuelan lawmaker Robert Serra has been captured.

Interior Minister Carmen Melendez said Friday that suspect Leiva Padilla Mendoza was arrested in Cartagena, Colombia. Melendez says the neighboring countries are working together to extradite him in the coming days.

Serra was elected to Venezuela's congress in 2010 after gaining prominence organizing government supporters against a wave of destabilizing student protests in 2007.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro alleged on national television last month that Serra's killing was politically motivated and said it had been directed by a Colombian paramilitary group.

Maduro also accused former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe of participating in the plot.

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