FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :: MEDIA ADVISORY
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA (Aug. 18, 2011) — Yesterday the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) the highest court of justice in the Western Hemisphere, announced that it will discuss the ruling on the case Leopoldo López v. the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela during the 92 Ordinary Period of Sessions held in Bogota, Colombia on August 31st. This means a final ruling on the case will be imminent in the days immediately thereafter. This landmark case considers whether Venezuela violated the rights of a prominent opposition politician Leopoldo López and over 800 other candidates it disqualified from participating in public elections without due process or any opportunity to stand trial.The ruling will have significant implications for the political climate in Venezuela, as well as the broader Latin American region. López has been cited by many as a contender for the presidency in 2012, an election year in which it is widely believed that the opposition will mount their most viable challenge to unseat Hugo Chavez yet. López’s ability to officially declare his presidential intentions is dependent on the outcome of this critical ruling. In order to register as a candidate in next February’s primary to select the opposition’s candidate, Lopez’s political ban must first be reversed by the Venezuelan government.
If the IACHR rules in favor of Lopez and the disqualified political candidates, the Venezuelan government will be forced to immediately comply with the ruling and reinstate Lopez’s candidacy, as it is stated in the Venezuelan Constitution.
ABOUT LEOPOLDO LOPEZ
Leopoldo López is a Venezuelan politician and democracy activist. From 2000 until 2008, López was the mayor of the Chacao Municipality of Caracas and his tenure drew worldwide notice. In 2008, Lopez placed third in the voting for the World Mayor award and he won Transparency International’s Award for the most transparent municipality in Venezuela.
López is the architect of a powerful new movement and political party called Voluntad Popular (The People’s Will) that promises to unite Venezuelans behind an alternative and inclusive vision of hope, democracy and social change. On July 10th Voluntad Popular took a historic step forward for democracy in Venezuela, holding open elections for all the party’s positions on the national, regional and grassroots level. Over 7,500 candidates participated in the process with 116,837 citizens voting.
While he awaits the court ruling that will determine his eligibility to run for political office, López is traveling the country, building an enduring and democratic alternative. He is meeting with Venezuelans from all political, social, and geographic walks of life to spread the specifics of his plan for “La Mejor Venezuela.”
Original Press Release: http://democraciaenjuego.org/en/?p=15
Cel. +58 412 2141051 / +58 414 9190359