President Nicolás Maduro
Palace of Miraflores
Caracas, Venezuela

President Maduro,

I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to request authorization to visit Leopoldo López in the Ramo Verde military prison.

We are aware that on May 3, after rumors that Mr. López had been transferred to a military hospital with health complications, the pro-government politician Diosdado Cabello showed what he called a “proof of life” video in his weekly TV show, in which López tells his family that he is alright and does not know why he is filming the video. However, neither his family nor lawyer have been able to visit López since then. In fact, they have not been able to see him since early April.

These latest developments are of very serious concern, given the fact that Human Rights Watch has documented the arbitrary prosecution and conviction of López, as well as his detention conditions, including long periods of isolation from family and lawyers. All of this happens in a country where there are no effective judicial remedies due to the lack of judicial independence. To dissipate any doubts about López’s health, I respectfully request you to authorize that a Human Rights Watch delegation to visit López in prison.


José Miguel Vivanco
Human Rights Watch