Bolivian authorities working on a corruption case have arrested a top indigenous leader who has been critical of President Evo Morales' push to drill for oil and develop mining on traditional native lands in the eastern lowlands.

Adolfo Chavez says he's innocent and the object of political persecution.

The former head of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Eastern Bolivia was arrested Thursday night in Santa Cruz.

Prosecutors accuse him of embezzling $130,000 in state funds.

The ethnic Tacana was an ally of Morales until the president decided to build a highway through a pristine lowlands indigenous reserve.

Chavez led a 2011 march against the highway and has been an opponent of recent government efforts to expand extractive industries in protected areas and cut down virgin forest for agriculture.