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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 171 of 190 Amnesty International called Ledezma’s arrest as “politically motivated” and highlighted that, according to the Venezuelan Mayors’ Association, at the end of February 2015, 33 of the 73 mayors belonging to opposition parties were facing legal proceedings.750 ii) Persecution against political activists Following opposition leader Leopoldo López’s detention, a protest group was formed. This group, named “Resistance Movement” (“Movimiento Resistencia”) organized several protests in Caracas, demanding policy changes and the liberation of the political prisoners.751 The GoV has constantly persecuted this group and committed several crimes in order to abolish it and therefore the public protests they organised. As the murder section of this document describes, two members of the Resistance Movement were found dead in Catia, Caracas, on 21 February 2015 with a shot in their faces: Yasmin Tovar and Luis Aranyi García. Before being killed, they had been threatened several times by pro-government armed paramilitaries, which told them that they should not protest against the GoV.752 Furthermore, several members of the Movement were imprisoned. Most importantly, on 20 and 21 March 2015, Resistance Movement members Félix Ortuño, Jeison Guarate, Léwis Pérez, Eucaris Espinoza, Geraldine Molina, Ángel Sucre and William Portillo were followed and arrested in different parts of the city by National Police officers dressed as civilians. 753 They were all accused by the Office of Public Prosecutions of several crimes, including illegal possession of drugs, weapon, and participation in an attack against a military officer in Chacao, Caracas754 which they are was planted by the police. Before their detention, the members of the group had been receiving death threats. They were told that if they continued protesting they would end up like Yasmin Available from: [Accessed 26 October, 2015] 750 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: the Faces of Impunity. p.9 751 EL NACIONAL VENEZUELA. (2015) Los rostros de la Resisten 752 RÍSQUEZ, R. (2015) Estudiante de ‘Resistencia’ hallado muerto en Catia había sido amenazado por colectivos del 23 de Enero; RÍSQUEZ, R. (2015) El último día de Yamir Tovar en 4 estaciones 753 LUGO, A. (2015) Policías y colectivos persiguen a miembros del Movimiento Resistencia; EL RAZON. (2015) El fin de semana siete estudiantes fueron arrestados 754 LUGO, A. (2015) Policías y colectivos persiguen a miembros del Movimiento Resistencia.

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