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 Nicolas 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.