Juan Carlos Gutierrez, Leopoldo Lopez’s lawyer, claimed today to have video evidence that proved that his client is innocent of the crimes he is alleged by the government to have committed on February 12 of this year.
Gutierrez says that amateur video footage has surfaced showing that the police vehicles torched on February 12 were attacked by “followers of colectivos linked to the government and the PSUV”. Gutierrez elaborated on the evidence, saying:
Leopoldo Lopez’s case is characterised by injustice and violations to human rights and due process… We must ask: Do you believe that Leopoldo Lopez will be considered to have caused a teenager, whose father is a member of a government colectivo, [to commit violence]?
Gutierrez’s comments seek to drive a stake through the heart of the government argument, which is that Leopoldo Lopez’s words on and before February 12 caused people to act violently, resulting in the events of February 12. Gutierrez’s rhetorical question points out that if the people responsible for the violence actually turned out to be government supporters, can we truly believe that they were obeying Leopoldo’s suggestions?
Gutierrez also pointed out that of the 16 people detained for the violent acts committed in Caracas on February 12, 10 were released out of hand. Of the six remaining, the government is only seeking charges against two. Gutierrez claims that the attorney general’s office is in procession of documents that prove that the suspects who were detained and subsequently released were government followers, as evidenced by their PSUV I.D. cards.
Mayor of Libertador Calls for Unity Within PSUV Ranks
Jorge Rodriguez, the mayor of the Libertador municipality, called for unity today amongst the PSUV ranks for the sake of getting through “the upcoming difficult days“. Rodriguez said:
New battles are coming, some sadness and some sin sabores [literally, “without flavour”], but as long as we remain united, we can say that all the battles can come, all the obstacles (…) We can discuss everything there is to discuss, we can take on whatever we have to take on in terms of the ideological, organization, international (…) Loyalty and unity, but above all else, loyalty.
March Called for June 24
The various student groups across the country have called for a “mega march” on June 24. The title of the march is “March for the Struggle for Independence”, and will take off from several points across Caracas with the goal of meeting in Plaza Altamira.
In Other News
The ex-Minister of Health, Eugenia Sader, made a statement a district attorney’s office in connection to allegations of corruption during her tenure as the Minister of Health. The investigation might be linked to allegations made in August of 2013 by Ismael Leon, a director of the Voluntad Popular opposition party, that accused Sader of being involved in embezzlement.
Finally, some pictures from disturbances in San Cristobal, Tachira: