Carlos Julio Varón

Name: Carlos Julio Varón Gracia

Arbitrarily detained: September 14, 2018

Released: October 31, 2018

Place of confinement: Police of Merida-Bailadores

Occupation: Fireman

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.

After the viralization of the video, the Fire Department of Mérida was intervened.Organizations in favor of human rights denounce intimidation and reprisals against the officials of the organization that shared the video. 

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