Venezuela in crisis: the decline of democracy and repression of human rights

ACCION POR LA LIBERTAD I February 09, 2015

On February 4, 2015, in McGill University, located in Montreal, Canada, was celebrated the forum “Venezuela in crisis: the decline of democracy and repression of human rights”. The forum was organized by the Centre for Human Rights of this recognized university, and it had the participation of Diana Lopez, sister of Leopoldo López and member of Acción por la Libertad (Freedom for Action), Carlos Vecchio, National Coordinator of the political party Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), and Irwin Cotler, who is Canadian Member of Parliament, former attorney of Nelson Mandela, and recently have joined to defense team of Leopoldo López.

More than 300 persons were gathered at the Faculty of Law at McGill University. They were taken to hear Carlos Vecchio’s testimony about the political persecution, which has been suffering, leaving his country and the role that he has been playing outside Venezuela. Vecchio also talked about the current Venezuelan political situation and the wave of protests and persecutions that began in February 2014.

Meanwhile, Diana Lopez disserted about the arbitrary detentions committed by the government of Maduro since February 2014. She also presented some images of some citizens who are currently detained. López explained the case of her brother Leopoldo López and all the injustices that the Venezuela government has perpetrated against to Leopoldo as well as to her family. Before concluding his presentation, Diana Lopez thanked the organizers for allowing sharing about human rights violations in Venezuela, invited to join to the initiatives that have been conducted by the movement Action for Freedom, which was born in response of the arbitrary detentions committed in Venezuela since February 2014, and presented the first publication of Action for Freedom named “Testimonies of February” by Roberto Mata.

For concluding the forum, the Canadian parliamentarian and attorney Irwin Cotler analyzed from a legal point of view human rights violations committed against Leopoldo López, and mentioned various international pronouncements that have been made around the world in favour of López release. Cotler also invited McGill University to adopt the case of Leopoldo López as a case study for the Faculty of Law and asked the Canadian government a pronouncement rejecting the arbitrary detention of Leopoldo López.

The event finished with a lot of applause and the recognizing for the organizers and panelists who shared what is happening in Venezuela.