World

Grisly Caracas murder of middle-aged woman becomes political battleground in Venezuela

FILE - In this Feb 18, 2014 file photo, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, second from right, draped in a Venezuelan national flag, is flanked by Jose Rafael Perez, right,  just before Lopez surrenders to national guards, in Caracas, Venezuela. Jose Rafael Perez is one of the young men arrested in the grisly slaying of a woman that has become yet another political flashpoint in hyper-polarized Venezuela, with supporters and opponents of the Nicolas Maduro administration each saying the killers were working for the other side. (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Hernandez, File)

FILE - In this Feb 18, 2014 file photo, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, second from right, draped in a Venezuelan national flag, is flanked by Jose Rafael Perez, right, just before Lopez surrenders to national guards, in Caracas, Venezuela. Jose Rafael Perez is one of the young men arrested in the grisly slaying of a woman that has become yet another political flashpoint in hyper-polarized Venezuela, with supporters and opponents of the Nicolas Maduro administration each saying the killers were working for the other side. (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Hernandez, File)  (The Associated Press)

The gristly murder of a middle-aged woman has become yet another political battleground in hyper-polarized Venezuela.

Supporters and opponents of the country's socialist administration each saying the killers were working for the other side.

The case revolves around two young men arrested for the murder of 52-year-old Liana Hergueta, who was hacked to pieces. Her body parts were found hidden in bags and suitcases in an upscale Caracas neighborhood.

The case took a new turn Tuesday night as Maduro appeared on national television to accuse the perpetrators of working with a who's who of opposition figures to destabilize the government, showing photos of them alongside government critics.

Opposition media reported that the two men were actually undercover agents sent to infiltrate the anti-government movement and help authorities arrest dissidents.