Antonio Ledezma is the democratically elected mayor of Caracas, a leader of the Venezuelan opposition, and a former political prisoner.
Ledezma was arrested in 2015 for his persistent criticism of the Socialist government. He was placed in prison and later under house arrest, facing up to 26 years behind bars. Ledezma made a daring escape to Colombia in November 2017, later flying to Madrid where he was reunited with his family.
In 2008, after Mr. Ledezma beat the Socialist candidate to become Mayor of Caracas, the regime of Hugo Chavez took away his office’s federal funding and most of its powers, allocating them to a newly created office run by a Socialist party member. Ledezma responded by calling on international organisations and governments to help him fulfil his campaign promises to the people of Caracas.
On July 3, 2009, Ledezma went on hunger strike in defense of his employees’ salaries, taken away by the Chavez regime, and for the freedom of others who had been arrested for peacefully demanding their rights.