Interpol has issued a notice seeking the arrest of a leading opponent of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who has requested political asylum in Peru, a Venezuelan police chief said.
Federal police chief Wilmer Flores said Interpol sent out a "red notice" for Manuel Rosales, the former mayor of Venezuela's second-largest city, Maracaibo, who faces embezzlement charges in his homeland.
A red notice means a suspect is wanted for possible extradition.
While it does not force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, people with red-notice status appear on Interpol's equivalent of a most-wanted list.
Mr Rosales says the charges against him are trumped up and that he is a victim of political persecution for his opposition to Mr Chavez's government.
Timoteo Zambrano, one of Mr Rosales' closest allies, told Colombia's RCN television network from the Peruvian capital of Lima that police there cannot arrest Mr Rosales while his asylum request is under consideration.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro disagreed.
Mr Maduro urged Peruvian authorities to detain Mr Rosales, and he said Mr Chavez's government is "evaluating" Peru's response after the opposition leader publicly ridiculed the socialist leader from Peru.
"We hope all the countries from the region comply with the request for the capture of criminals like Manuel Rosales," Mr Maduro said.