Leopoldo López Blames Maduro, Interior Minister for February Murders
EspañolOn Tuesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López condemned President Nicolás Maduro and Minister of the Interior Migual Rodríguez Torres as responsible for two of the deaths that occurred during anti-regime protests on February 12.
López, imprisoned since February, presented the accusation before entering the courtroom where the trial against him continues. The opposition leader faces charges of public instigation, conspiracy, property damage, and involvement in crime.
“López himself presented the denunciation against President Maduro and his interior minister, Rodríguez Torres, so there will be consideration of the proof uncovered by the attorney general’s investigation, which demonstrates that the president of the republic is actually responsible for Bassil Dacosta’s and Juan Montoya’s deaths,” Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, López’s lawyer, declared to EFE.
Palabras de Leopoldo: "Maduro y Rodríguez Torres son los verdaderos responsables de los hechos de violencia el 12F http://t.co/89jtQFmRUH
— Leopoldo López (@leopoldolopez) October 1, 2014
Bassil Dacosta and Juan Montoyo were two of the three people killed in the first round of protests that took place at the beginning of the year.
Dacosta, who was 23, died after being shot in the head when three people disguised in capes began firing shots at anti-Chavista protesters. Montoya, a pro-Chávez activist, died in unclear circumstances after he was shot in the face.
Montoya’s death resulted in the arrests of five officials from the Bolivarian Intelligence Service. Eight members of the Venezuelan security forces were also prosecuted.
López’s lawyer noted that “there is a lot of evidence” that Maduro and Rodríguez Torres “were aware” of the facts and that “in a certain way” the people arrested for instigating violence were “subordinate” to them.
Lilian Tintori, López’s wife, remains hopeful that her husband will be released, as noted in comments with CNN en Español: “After seven months, we are faithful that Leopoldo López will be granted freedom, even though there is no separation of powers [in the Venezuelan government]. Venezuela needs change; Leopoldo embodied that change. That is why he is imprisoned. They are afraid, afraid of his ideas and his leadership.”
No han aceptado ni 1 solo de los 65 testigos que presentó la defensa, ni una sola de las pruebas…
— Leopoldo López (@leopoldolopez) September 30, 2014
Meanwhile, Jesús Torrealba, the self-branded secretary general of the Democratic Unity Table, an opposition bloc that unites various Venezuelan political parties, has organized a march this Saturday to present a National Mobilization Plan.