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Venezuelan Opposition Leader's Arrest Intensifies Protests

Leopoldo Lopez faces terrorism and murder charges for his involvement in the demonstrations.
3:00 | 02/19/14

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Transcript for Venezuelan Opposition Leader's Arrest Intensifies Protests
This is a special room. I'm Michelle Franzen a New York this is an ABC news digital special report. Anti government demonstrations and Venezuela are gaining strength. Even as the opposition leader Leopold -- Lopez arrested during a rally yesterday remains in jail charged with terrorism and murder. Five people have been reported killed so far in clashes all around the country. With more now we are joined live from Caracas by fusion morning show host -- -- -- you -- thank you very much for joining us. This situation has obviously deteriorated over the past day and a half but take -- back to -- when did the protests began. And how fast as they -- The -- just really began last week -- last Wednesday it was called the youth day in Venezuela. And thousands of student protesters to swarmed the streets and they started clashing with government backs. Forces. Sort of government backed militia groups that were out in the streets as well. But the situation really goes tends to ten months back -- it's an increasing wave of violence that has hit Venezuela. And also an increase wave of product shortage is sold the majority of the population is really fed up and they have taken. To the streets. Right now the last couple of hours we haven't really seen. That many injuries in Caracas but the reports from the countryside have been getting. And worse and worse and we mention the opposition leader Leopold a Lopez's. What is his background he's not among most of the politicians that -- here in the states and we've heard much about. After Hugo Chavez died -- of course -- -- -- it took his place. -- -- -- Chris is -- 42 years old he's an economist who studied at Harvard he speaks English perfectly have interviewed him in English. In the past he has a young wife two young kids so he's really the opposite of -- who -- this type figure. He's a young politician has been trained in politics for the majority of his life he was a young mayor here and -- colony area in in Caracas. And he really rose to fame. In the political realm in Venezuela because he was in debilitated by the government to. Get elected for any sort of post and that's -- really you know people started looking up to him because the government really. Made him an enemy. -- we want to play some video late last night we saw this YouTube video recorded by Lopez before his arrest. He's sitting with his wife and what to -- -- to say. He basically told the country if I think what happens is going to happen I just want to let you know that. Our protests and our cause has to move -- -- and has to go on because he knew that if he showed his face. At the protest yesterday the government would -- him and put him in jail which is exactly what happened as you mentioned he's being charged. With nine charges like terrorism in homicides. But he never actually fired. A weapon in any of these -- -- that we know. And -- we've heard a little bit you've mentioned that there is been violence and also some reports of people killed. Who was Genesis Carmona and how did she -- This is Carmona was a 23 year old beauty queen. From this they divided ANC that's far away from the capital. She it was also a student she was at a rally last night and got a bullet to the head she was rushed to a nearby hospital. But she died unfortunately today and this is the second beauty queen that -- died in this country a country -- beauty queens. Really are in in you know -- looked bad and our idolize. The other case of course which is very notorious. Was a beauty queen called Monica -- -- who died at the beginning of this year so these are figures that. Call the attention of the media that really affect people and call attention to the fact that this country has been hit with an enormous wave of violence. In the last couple of years and that wave of violence of that also what about crime in general and -- in the region. Crime in general in Venezuela is a ramp and just last night -- eighteen from CNN international. Was robbed -- they even took their suitcases with the clothes in them. And that's the problem then is -- let you can't really. Say if you know these crimes are just regular times or if it's a form of censure ship which was targeting these reporters. Anybody is a victim here we've had to move around in bulletproof cars with. A person that's you know providing security for us so essentially a very difficult country to move around in. And a very difficult country to be safe in anybody's really a target here. And -- necklace majora has been in power eleven months now and this is by far the most vocal opposition he's face. What's happened in that time. In not time you've seen really enormous product shortages. We were out in front of a supermarket today at sunrise and they were already long lines outside that supermarket. There's there's no -- there's no oil there's no blotter. You know there's no chicken there's not not even deodorant. In the in the supermarket so people really fed off that combined with the enormous wave of violence has made these protests. Gain ground every day. And juxtapose that would euros leadership along with Hugo Chavez with the -- having happening right now. If there is a different person in power even Travis. That's the real big difference because Chavis was this sort of unifying figure. Whereas my door is not support is not unconditional toward -- world. There are -- any three people I would say on the Chinese decide they're sharing power now it's my door 01 side he's a civilian. -- -- -- to be his successor. There's deals dot Oca may -- he really controls the military and is the head of the National Assembly and there's rough filed Ramirez. Who is the oil minister and controls the money so. What -- these -- says it it. If these forces are ever gonna change the balance of power here in Venezuela it's because they're provoking a shakedown within -- -- And we're just gonna have to see how united. They really are. -- -- -- a New York to see how they're gonna with -- with. Stand these pollutants. Fusion Marianna -- -- live from Caracas thank you for joining us and you in your teens stay safe there. For the latest on this deadly antibiotic -- government protests and the future of opposition leader -- -- -- Lopez stay right here on abcnews.com. This has been an ABC news digital report on Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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