Antonio Ledezma is the democratically elected mayor of Caracas, a leader of the Venezuelan opposition, and a former political prisoner who only recently escaped.
In 2015, for being a vocal critic of the Socialist government and a frequent face at anti-government rallies, he was arrested in a violent raid on his office. Mayor Ledezma was arbitrarily detained, in prison and then under house arrest, on trumped-up charges where he faced up to 26 years behind bars.
In November 2017, Mayor Ledezma made a dramatic escape to Colombia, and is now touring capitals worldwide to fight for his people’s freedom.
In 2008, after Mr. Ledezma beat the Socialist candidate to become mayor, the regime of Hugo Chavez took away his office’s federal funding and most of its powers, allocating them to a newly created position run by a Socialist party member. Mr. Ledezma knocked on the doors of international entities, organizations, and governments in order to achieve ideas that would allow him to revitalize Caracas. Despite the removal of his powers and resources, Mayor Ledezma continued to address the needs of the people of Caracas.
On July 3, 2009, the mayor went on a hunger strike in defense of his employees’ salaries that were taken away by the Chavez regime, and for the freedom of others who had been arrested for peacefully demanding their rights.