Here’s a look at the life of Leopoldo López, a Venezuelan opposition leader who was imprisoned accused of encouraging protests against the government.
Date of birth: April 29, 1971
Birthplace: Caracas Venezuela
Birth name: Leopoldo Eduardo Lopez Mendoza
Sheep: Leopoldo López Gil, Businessman and Member of the European Parliament
Mother: Antonieta Mendoza de López, Media Manager
Marriage: Lilian Tintori (2007-present)
Children: Federica Antonieta, Leopoldo Santiago and Manuela Rafaela
Education: Kenyon College, BA, Sociology, 1993; Harvard University, MPP, Public Policy, 1996
He is the great-grandson of Venezuela’s first president, Cristóbal Mendoza.
Is a descendant of the South American liberator Simon Bólívar.
Was re-elected mayor of Chacao with 81% of the vote and ended the term with an approval rating of 92%.
1996-1999 – Assistant to Chief Economist and Financial Advisor for Petróleos de Venezuela SA
2000-2001 – Works as a professor of economics at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.
2000-2008 – Serves two four-year terms as mayor of Chacao, a district of Caracas.
2008 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s government forbids López to run for public office and accuses him of corruption and misuse of public funds. Chavez’s government banned hundreds of other politicians, many of whom were from parties against Chavez.
2009 – Helps launch a new political party called Voluntad Popular or the popular will. The party’s mission is to overcome poverty and to ensure a democracy in which all Venezuelans have rights.
September 16, 2011 – The Inter-American Court of Human Rights announces its ruling that López’s rights were violated when he was banned from running for office.
October 17, 2011 – Venezuela’s Supreme Court rejects the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which upholds the ban on López running for office. A day later, López promises to run for president despite a court ruling.
January 24, 2012 – López is withdrawing from the presidential election and supporting opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
February 13, 2014 – After at least three people were killed during a protest against the government in Caracas, a Venezuelan court issues an arrest warrant for Lopez. Authorities claim he is responsible for the violence. He is charged with conspiracy, murder and terrorism.
February 18, 2014 – López reports himself.
19.-20. February 2014 – A trial to target López is taking place. Prosecutors drop the charges of murder and terrorism.
April 4, 2014 – Venezuela’s Advocate General announces that López has been formally charged with public incitement, property damage, arson and conspiracy. Activists hold a protest in Caracas to declare López innocent.
September 10, 2015 – Has been convicted and sentenced to almost 14 years in prison. The conviction triggers protests.
May 3, 2017 – A “proof of life” video is released to dispel rumors that he is in poor health.
July 8, 2017 – Venezuela’s Supreme Court orders the release of López under house arrest due to health problems.
August 1, 2017 – Venezuelan authorities are taking López from his home after opposing a controversial election which, according to critics, would allow President Nicolás Maduro to illegally consolidate power. Government officials say López violated the terms of his house arrest and planned to flee. López’s lawyer denies the allegations.
August 5, 2017 – López returns to house arrest. “They have just brought Leopoldo home. We are working with more conviction and more determination to find peace and freedom for Venezuela !,” tweets his wife Lilian Tintori.
September 2, 2017 – López’s wife says she was prevented from leaving the country for Europe by immigration authorities. Tintori says she was going to Europe to meet with European leaders to talk about the crisis in Venezuela.
September 8, 2017 – López’s mother, Antonieta de Lopez, meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Tintori’s place.
April 30, 2019 – Appears in a video with the leader of the Venezuelan opposition, Juan Guaidó, during a speech in Caracas. López says he was released from house arrest by the armed movement.
May 2, 2019 – Venezuela’s Supreme Court has issued an arrest warrant for López, saying he violated his 2017 house arrest.
October 2020 – Leaving the residence of the Spanish Ambassador in Caracas to be reunited with his family in Spain. López had been staying at the Spanish Embassy since April 30, 2019.