Right-wing opposition supporters took to the streets of Caracas and other cities in Venezuela on Saturday in ongoing violent protests against the government as fears mount of a possible repeat of the February 2014 Guarimbas opposition-led riots which left 43 people dead.
Leading Venezuelan opposition figure, Henrique Capriles, has been banned from seeking public office for 15 years. Around 4,000 people attended the demonstration.
On Friday, anti-Maduro demonstrators gathered there from dawn, wrapping red tape emblazed with the words "danger, do not enter" around the office in a surprise protest.
The police have responded with tear gas and water cannons, prompting chaos among highways where 10,000 protesters marched.
"They received us with gas and rubber bullets. It's about Venezuela. And we're going to fight to change our country", he said.
This week's protests appear to have claimed their first victim Thursday night.
A demonstrator walks while building a fire on the street during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, April 8, 2017. "There will be no rest", Capriles promised on Twitter.
Henrique Capriles was one of the leaders of mass demonstrations this week against socialist President Nicolas Maduro that led to clashes with police. Amid growing global condemnation of Maduro, various Latin American criticized the move against Capriles.Argentina's foreign ministry said in a statement the decision would have a "negative impact" on the right of Venezuelans to choose their leaders.
"These people do whatever they want". "In none of the cases did I cause any harm to [Miranda state] resources", Capriles said. "But this move may well backfire, as Capriles is likely to harness this smear campaign to place himself front and center in the push to hold transition elections".
Capriles, 44, is the governor of Miranda state and a two-time presidential candidate who has become the most vocal critic of the socialist government.
The move by the Supreme Court, which was stacked with Maduro-allies during the last session of the National Assembly before it fell in opposition hands, sparked fierce condemnation from activists, worldwide powers and even supporters of President Maduro.
The court later reversed the rulings after an worldwide outcry, but kept in place other measures limiting the assembly's powers.
Despite the fact that the court's ruling has been canceled, serious tensions remain.
A comptroller's office spokeswoman said information regarding citizens being barred from office was provided only to the "relevant parties".
Capriles can appeal against his sanction within two weeks to the comptroller and within six months to the Supreme Court. In another intimidation tactic, police also posted on social media photos of protesters taken undercover with a request for information about the whereabouts of the unidentified "generators of violence". While the opposition leadership condemned the violence, they blamed President Nicolas Maduro for fueling the unrest.
The state prosecutor's office confirmed on Friday that Mr Ortiz was shot in the hilly, low-income Carrizal area of capital Caracas, known for its state-provided housing, while he was at a protest.