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Latino Daily News

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Wives of Jailed Venezuelan Mayors Win Local Elections

The landslide electoral victories of the wives of two Venezuelan mayors dismissed and jailed two months ago should oblige the courts to free the two men, the opposition to President Nicolas Maduro’s leftist government said.

“Maduro often says that here the people rule. So if the people do rule, and they cast their votes solidly in favor of Scarano and Ceballos, he should respect the people and free the mayors,” the secretary general of the Christian Democrat Party (Copei), Jesus Alberto Barrios, told a press conference.

Rosa Brandonisio, wife of Enzo Scarano, and Patricia Gutierrez, wife of Daniel Ceballos, won their elections easily on Sunday in the municipalities of San Diego and San Cristobal, respectively.

Both women took over the candidacy for the opposition MUD coalition to replace their husbands in special elections called after a Supreme Court decision removed both mayors and sent each of them to prison for around a year.

The high court convicted the mayors for having ignored the tribunal’s injunctions ordering them to prevent government opponents from barricading streets in their respective cities.

Rosa Brandonisio won the support of more than 87 percent of voters of San Diego and Patricia Gutierrez took 73 percent of the San Cristobal vote.

Acts of violence during the anti-government protests have left 42 people dead, with hundreds injured and under arrest.

Fatalities include both opponents and supporters of the government, as well as bystanders and members of the security forces.

Authorities have charged more than a dozen police and soldiers with violating the human rights of demonstrators.

Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, one of the leaders of the protests against Maduro, wrote on Twitter that the results of the elections in San Diego and San Cristobal “are perfect tickets out of jail” for Scarano and Ceballos.

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