Name: Carlos Julio Varón Gracia
Arbitrarily detained: September 14, 2018
Released: October 31, 2018
Place of confinement: Police of Merida-Bailadores
A satirical video comparing Nicolás Maduro with a donkey cost Carlos Julio Varón Gracia 48 days without freedom. The fireman and his partner, Ricardo Prieto, were arbitrarily apprehended by officials of the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim) on September 14, 2018, shortly after recording the video of a donkey walking in the fire station of Apartaderos, Mérida state.
On September 16, the Prosecutor’s Office accused the two firefighters of hate speech, an accusation that was subsequently changed for the crime “offense to the President”, typified in article 147 of the Criminal Code. Carlos spent more than a month unjustly imprisoned in the headquarters of the Police of Mérida in Bailadores, for executing his right to freedom of expression.