The chief of Mexico's powerful oil workers union was arraigned Thursday on charges of illegal weapons possession, homicide, gun smuggling and resisting arrest.

The arrest Tuesday of Joaquin Hernandez Galicia prompted strikes by union members that crippled the country's nationalized oil industry for a day but ended Wednesday at a behest of a union official.Hernandez Galicia was charged Thursday before penal judge Jose Luis Garcia Vasco, who has 72 hours to decide whether the accused should be released on bail.

On Wednesday night, Hernanadez Galicia claimed the 200 Uzi machine guns seized in an assault on his home were smuggled from the United States and needed by union leaders for self-defense, officials said.