After Leopoldo López v. Venezuela was heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) over six months ago, the regional body issued a ruling today that Venezuela must lift Mr. López’ ban from running for office. López, the former mayor of the Chacao Municipality in Caracas, was disqualified by Venezuela’s Comptroller General in 2008 from running for office for six years—at which time he presented his case to the IACHR, the judicial arm of the Organization of American States based in San José, Costa Rica. López was accused of receiving illegal campaign donations from Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., Venezuela’s state-run petroleum agency, where his mother had once worked.
López founded the political party Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) and is viewed as a leading challenger to President Hugo Chávez in the 2012 presidential election. He tweeted earlier today: “#SeHizoJusticia con la decisión de la Corte IDH” (#JusticeWasDone with the IACHR decision). He said he plans to participate in the February 12, 2012, primary vote ahead of the October 7, 2012, presidential election.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro responded that Venezuela’s supreme court, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, will review the IACHR decision but will ultimately have the final word on López’ candidacy.
Read an analysis of the Leopoldo López v. Venezuela case on the AQ blog.