Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed Venezuelan protest leader Leopoldo Lopez, said this week she believes Venezuela has become a “dictatorship.”
“As a woman, as a wife and as a mother, I am convinced we are living under a dictatorship,” she said in Spanish during and interview published by Reuters. She added, “Leopoldo is unjustly imprisoned. None of the charges he is accused of are real.” Tintori, whose husband is being held in a military prison, has continued to appear at protests.
Lopez was arrested on charges of murder and terrorism Tuesday February 18th. Since then the more serious charges have been dropped but Lopez is still headed to court on charges of arson and inciting violence.
Amnesty International has said the charges brought against Lopez “smack of a politically motivated attempt to silence dissent in the country.” Human Rights Watch has criticized the government of Venezuela for adopting the “tactics of an authoritarian regime.” These tactics include the arrest of Lopez, the media blackout and the tolerance of pro-government vigilantes on motorcycles who have been seen firing live ammunition into crowds of protesters resulting in several deaths.