Leopoldo López ’93, Venezuelan Political Activist, Arrested in Caracas


López demonstrating with the Venezuelan national flag shortly before his arrest (via AFP, Leo Ramirez)

Venezuelan opposition leader, former mayor of capital city Caracas’s Chacao Municipality and Kenyon Class of 1993 alum Leopoldo López has turned himself in to authorities on “charges of inciting violence” during recent street protests in Caracas.

López, who majored in Sociology at Kenyon before earning a Master of Public Policy from Harvard, gave himself up in an attempt to draw attention to the need for social change and reform in Venezuela  — this BBC article about his arrest quotes López as saying, “I present myself to an unjust judiciary. They want to jail Venezuelans who want peaceful, democratic change.” A WhiteHouse.Gov petition has been launched in an attempt to ensure López’s safety — sign it here.

López is one of a number of Kenyon alums currently fighting for social justice around the world — others include Darya Tsymbalyuk ’13, an activist in her native Ukraine’s Maidan Square protests, and Marco Saavedra ’11, whose work with immigration activist group the “DREAM 9” on behalf of undocumented youths was chronicled in the New York Times this fall.

[Ed. — This post was compiled with the help of Collegian news editors Sam Colt ’14, Madeleine Thompson ’15 and Henri Gendreau ’16]

5 responses

  1. While the situation in Venezuela mirrors the injustices of what is concurring in Ukraine, we (as Americans) should not overlook other crimes and shady dealings which track along with these developing popular movements. One, the US State Department meddled in Venezuelan affairs for decades when Chavez was still alive, going so far as to orchestrate a coup. This interference is not unlike the introduction of, say, a new species of animal to control the growth of another plant or animal in the ecological sense. Like the east asian carp. The instability fueled by US imperialism is at play here in Venezuela and we share certain blame for this. Likewise, where is the outrage from US politicians in Washington when peaceful protests and occupations are repressed by militarized police forces domestically?

  2. Please, may your thoughts be with these brave souls. I’m hoping the Collegian does a thorough piece on the happenings in Venezuela and Ukraine. Kenyon alum are on the front lines and the stories are truly touching/distressing and as such, our newspaper should cover such important world events.

  3. Pingback: Leopoldo López ’93 Speaks Out From Prison | The Thrill

  4. Pingback: Do It Tonight: “Leo López, ’93: A Fight for Freedom” | The Thrill

  5. Pingback: Leopoldo Lopez ’93 Sentenced to 13 Years and 9 Months in Prison | The Thrill

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