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Detainees in need of urgent care in Venezuela

On December 20, 2023, Guillermo Zárraga was conditionally released after more than three years of arbitrary detention in Venezuela. Three other individuals subjected to arbitrary detention continue to suffer due to the authorities’ neglect of their right to health and safety. Emirlendris Benítez, a mother and tradeswoman, was arbitrarily detained in August 2018 and subjected to torture.

Juan Carlos Marrufo and María Auxiliadora Delgado, a married couple, have been in detention since March 2019. They are being unfairly held by authorities under the responsibility of President Nicolás Maduro. We urge him to ensure their unconditional release and, during their custody, guarantee immediate access to proper medical care.

Here’s what you can do:

Write to the Venezuelan President urging him to:

  • Ensure that Emirlendris Benítez, Juan Carlos Marrufo and María Auxiliadora Delgado are immediately and unconditionally released.
  • Guarantee that while they remain in custody of the state, you must guarantee their life, health and safety.
  • Urgently grant them access to trusted and adequate medical care.

Write to:

President Nicolas Maduro

Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela,

Edificio Palacio de Miraflores,

Avenida Urdaneta,

Caracas, Venezuela

Email: correo@presidencia.gob.ve     

X: @NicolasMaduro

Salutation: Your Excellency:

And copy:

Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

32 Range Road

Ottawa, ON K1N 8J4

Tel: (613) 235-5151/ (613) 447-4576 (24h) Fax: (613) 235-3205

Email: consular@misionvenezuela.org

Emirlendris Benitez: A Venezuelan Woman Unjustly Targeted

Emirlendris Benitez, a Venezuelan mother, sister, and tradeswoman, fell victim to arbitrary detention on August 5, 2018. Authorities baselessly linked her to violence against political leaders, unsupported by evidence she vehemently denies. While in custody, she endured torture during pregnancy, leading to an involuntary termination. Suffering lasting effects, including reliance on a wheelchair, Emirlendris was unfairly sentenced to 30 years in 2022—a sentence widely believed to be politically motivated. Her release is imperative.

Unjustly Detained and Family Dreams Shattered

Arrested on March 19, 2019, by the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM), Juan Carlos Marrufo and María Auxiliadora Delgado, a married couple with dual nationalities, faced arbitrary detention. Their aspiration for in vitro fertilization was disrupted, and their connection to alleged criminal activities rests on familial ties. Victims of injustice, they are denied the chance to grow their family amidst arbitrary detention.

Unjust Detention and Inhumane Conditions

Guillermo Zárraga, a Venezuelan engineer and union leader, endured arbitrary detention on December 14, 2020, subjected to inhumane prison conditions. Lacking sustenance and proper care, his health deteriorated. Conditionally released on December 20, 2023, Guillermo’s story echoes others, including Gabriel Blanco and John Álvarez, highlighting the distressing impact of politically motivated arbitrary detention in Venezuela.

The Human Rights Crisis in Venezuela: A Call for Global Attention

Nicolás Maduro’s government persists in harassing activists and censoring civil society amid a severe human rights crisis. Over 7.72 million Venezuelans have fled by November 2023, representing a quarter of the total population. Independent international reports reveal extensive human rights abuses since 2014, suggesting crimes against humanity. Urgent global attention is needed to address this deepening crisis.