Leopoldo López has secured his place in the modern history of Venezuela, becoming the new leader of the opposition.
The face of the opposition turned up after five days in hiding. He climbed up to a podium and declared, “Wake up, Venezuela! If my arrest wakes people up, it will be worth it.”
“This political fascist leader is already in the hands of justice,” said President Nicolás Maduro three hours later, adding, “We arrested him to prevent him being killed.”
Around the same time, López was transported across the city, first in a military tank, then in a vehicle and finally by helicopter to the Justice Palace, where he later appeared before a judge. López is accused of terrorism and homicide, among other crimes.
“I am here today because of unfair and corrupt justice. Nowadays in Venezuela there is no justice," López said.
Why do you protest?
“I’m marching to protest against the situation this country is in, with this incompetent government giving all our oil and money to other countries. This government has to leave, no matter what, and we’ll be in the streets until this government resigns.” Juan Luis Oropeza, 22, graphic designer
“I’m marching because I don’t want any oppression and because I want the students arrested during peaceful protests released. And I’m protesting against the economic and social problems in this country. But I’m scared because there are so many [police] agents here.” Julián Sánchez, 21, social communications student
“I’m tired of queuing to buy food. I’m afraid, but it’s the same fear I feel of being killed any day.” Orlando Alfonzo, 29, Actor