Antonio Ledezma

Antonio Ledezma

Antonio Ledezma is a Venezuelan opposition leader and former prisoner of conscience. He holds a degree in law with postgraduate studies in public management. In 1999, Ledezma founded the Fearless People’s Alliance, a pro-democracy party that went on to win 165 seats in the parliamentary elections of 2000. During his term as mayor of Caracas in 2015, Ledezma was physically removed from his office and arbitrarily arrested. International human rights groups immediately condemned the arrest as a politically-motivated attack by Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorial regime to dismantle democracy in Venezuela. Following Ledezma’s kidnapping, the opposition was continually silenced ahead of the fall legislative elections, and citizens of Caracas began to protest the arrest in the streets. After Ledezma spent two years under house arrest and over 1,000 days as prisoner of conscience, he made a cross-border escape to Colombia in November of 2017. Now living in Spain, Ledezma continues to advocate in exile for Venezuelan democracy. Ledezma has also served as governor of Caracas, and as both senator and representative in the Venezuelan parliament. Ledezma has received numerous awards for his tireless activism, including the 2017 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the 2015 Democracy Award, the 2016 Geneva Summit Courage Award, and an honorable mention in the 2018 Oswaldo Payá Liberty and Life award.

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