Political persecution:

In the last 20 years, Leopoldo Lopez has been the victim of fierce political persecution by the Venezuelan government. He has been subjected to more than 20 judicial and administrative processes, all of the arbitrary. Despite having received a favorable ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, he has been disqualified from participating in politics twice, preventing him from participating in elections.

In 2008, Leopoldo finished his second term as Mayor of the Chacao municipality with a 92% approval rating and decided to run for the position of Mayor of Caracas. When he had the support of 65% of the citizens of the capital, and a larger support base than the president, Hugo Chavez; the Venezuelan government decided to disqualify him politically. Leopoldo, after exhausting all national options, turned to the Inter-American Court of Human rights; on September 1, 2011, the court ruled in favor of Lopez.

In the year 2013, throughout the whole year, Nicolas Maduro publicly expressed his desire to imprison him. On more than ten occasions, Maduro and members of the executive cabinet announced that Leopoldo Lopez should go to jail for the opinions issued against his government. In 2014, despite that in his speeches his continued calls to non-violence, and to peaceful and democratic protests; the threats continued. After large peaceful demonstrations were held against the government, on february 12, 2014, a few hours after state security forces murdered two venezuelans who were peacefully protesting, an arrest warrant was issued against Leopoldo.

Leopoldo appeared before an unfair justice:


The human rights violations against Leopoldo were systematic and prolonged, as ratified by the report presented by the UN on September 15, 2020. Since February 18, 2014, when Leopoldo decided to step forward and face the accusations laid by Nicolas Maduro, his fundamental rights to due process and the presumption of innocence were violated.

He was taken to a military prison, and subjected to a shamelessly political trial, with rigged evidence, non-public hearings, and witnesses only for the prosecution. On top of this political lynching were the human rights abuses he faced during his 3 YEARS, 4 MONTHS, and 20 DAYS in the military prison Ramo Verde; abuses as low as having human excrement thrown into his cell, to denying him the right to correspondence, preventing him from meeting privately with his lawyer to prepare his defense, recording all his family and conjugal visits, systematically stealing his writings and the few personal items he was allowed to have, and arbitrarily punishing him with prolonged isolation.

On September 10, 2015, after a year and three months of a closed-door trial, which was completely secret and rigged, and despite having proven his innocence ; Leopoldo was sentenced to 13 years, 9 months, 7 days, and 12 hours in prison.

The primary prosecutor, Franklin Nieves, declared that he received orders from his superiors to fabricate charges against Leopoldo Lopez. Furthermore, the expert witness called by the prosecutor’s office, Rosa Amelia Asuaje, declared that the judge manipulated her statement in the sentence. Recently, the judge who signed the arrest warrant against Leopoldo Lopez, Ralenis Tovar, said she signed that order “for fear of ending up in prison.” On February 15, 2018, the Attorney General of the Republic, Luisa Ortega Diaz, said she had been pressured to say that “the author of the deaths of Bassil Da Costa and Juan Montoya was Leopoldo.” On August 12, 2016, the Caracas appeals court upheld Leopoldo’s infamous sentence.

House arrest:


In the morning of July 8, 2017, after spending 1234 DAYS in the Ramo Verde military prison, Leopoldo was granted house-arrest. The unilateral decision by the dictatorship came after 99 days of uninterrupted peaceful protests in the streets of Venezuela, coupled with intense pressure from the international community.

At the time of the transfer to his home, Leopoldo had not been able to see his lawyers for 92 days and had been under severe isolation for 32 days in a tower in the military prison. In those 32 days he was the victim of the cruelest treatment he received during his 1,234 days in prison.

After spending 23 days under house arrest; on August 1, 2017, at 12:27 AM; Leopoldo was KIDNAPPED by SEBIN, the political police of the dictatorship. He was forcibly taken from his home. Neither his lawyers nor his family members could verify his condition during the days that he was once again at Ramo Verde.

In the morning of August 6, 2017, after having spent 5 DAYS COMPLETELY ISOLATED in a cell with only a mattress on the floor and RECEIVING DECOMPOSED FOOD; Leopoldo was again transferred to his home for house-arrest. this time with a court ruling prohibiting him from issuing any sort of message by any means, conventional or not.

Conditions in Prison:


Leopoldo Lopez spent 5 YEARS, 1 MONTH, and 43 DAYS unjustly imprisoned; until April 30, 2019, when he received a pardon from our President, Juan Guaidó, and was liberated from his house arrest. 

Of the time he was unjustly imprisoned, he spent 1,234 in the Ramo Verde military prison, of which 548 days he was subjected to solitary confinement, on top of 321 days where he was isolated and unable to make contact with his relatives or lawyers. Leopoldo’s isolation reached such a point where even his own custodians expressly recognized it in an official document.

Violence, threats, and intimidation were part of Leopoldo’s daily life in Ramo Verde. He was isolated in a 4-story prison tower completely separated from the prison’s population. He was subjected to at least 20 extremely violent searches. Officials from the DGCIM, SEBIN, and GNB would enter his cell without warning, knocking down the doors and bars with torches and pliers; They systematically stole his writings and the few possessions they allowed him to have.

Nicolas Maduro’s prisoner of conscience, as declared by Amnesty International. 

The most recognized organizations in the defense of Human Rights in the world have spoken in favor of his immediate release: the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Committee against Torture of the UN Human Rights Council, the President and Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Human Rights Watch. As well as presidents, prime ministers, governments, parliaments, world leaders of different political orientations, Nobel Peace and Literature prize winners, intellectuals and artists also joined the request for freedom for Leopoldo.

Leopoldo’s case is one of those exposed in the report: “Detailed findings of the independent international fact finding mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” The conclusions state textually: 

“Based on the facts above, the Mission has reasonable grounds to believe that Leopoldo López was a victim of arbitrary detention. Both SEBIN and DGCIM were involved in different ways. SEBIN Director at the time, General Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez, pressured the prosecutor to sign the arrest warrant for Mr. Lopez. DGCIM officers were involved in the search of both Mr. Lopez’s and his parents’ house as well as in the violent night searches while he was in detention in Ramo Verde. 406. The Mission considers that Leopoldo López’s treatment and conditions in Ramo Verde may amount to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. National Guard Colonel Jose Viloria Sosa was the Director of Ramo Verde at the time of these events.”