Crime & Justice

Venezuelan government implicates former Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma in “violence”

Caracas, Sep 21 (EFE).- The Venezuelan Government has pointed a finger at Antonio Ledezma, the former mayor of Caracas who now resides in Spain, accusing him of involvement in the street violence plaguing the Caribbean nation. He is also alleged to be the instigator of “elements of attack” against the state.

During a press conference presenting a report on an operation at Tocorón prison, Minister of Interior and Justice, Remigio Ceballos, declared, “Ledezma is responsible for inciting all these elements of attack against the Venezuelan state, of extremism against the Venezuelan state. He is precisely one of the individuals responsible for street violence.”

Ceballos further stated that the Government and the Venezuelan nation have been “constantly targeted” by a “violent opposition with clear and defined plans, aiming to employ criminal activities to achieve their political objectives.” He asserted that Ledezma is a prime example of this, being a “fugitive who is currently outside the country.”

“These violent politicians, such as the one I mentioned, dream of renewed violence in the country while the people yearn for peace,” expressed Ceballos, highlighting that Venezuela has witnessed a “constant and sustained reduction in crime rates.”

However, the minister did not explain the context behind mentioning Ledezma in this setting, nor did he elucidate the connection between the former mayor and the topic addressed during the press conference.

Recently, the Venezuelan judiciary issued a new arrest warrant for Ledezma and initiated extradition proceedings with Spain, where he has been in exile since 2017, as confirmed by the Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, last August.

He explained that this fresh warrant against the former mayor, who fled Venezuela in violation of his house arrest while facing conspiracy charges, stems from his recent statements about “civil disobedience” plans in the country.

Extraditions from Spain to Venezuela have encountered obstacles due to the skepticism of the Spanish National Court regarding the treatment of these individuals upon their return to Venezuela.

However, the Spanish judicial system has investigated Ledezma and other Venezuelans for alleged money laundering related to funds embezzled from the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, PDVSA. EFE


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