Name: Juan Pablo Giraldo
Arbitrarily detained: September 19, 2014
Released: June 1, 2018
Place of confinement: El Helicoide
Occupation: Senior Technician in Computing
Juan Pablo worked in the state government of Táchira when he was arrested by officials of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) on September 19, 2014. The Nicolás Maduro regime accused him of being the alleged financier of “destabilizing plans” within his entity, linking his case to the case of Antonio Ledezma, even without evidence of the supposed link between the young man and the political leader.
After his apprehension, his family, trusted lawyers and relatives spent four days without hearing from him. His case was in limbo: from February 15, 2016 onwards, Juan Pablo did not have a court or an assigned judge.
He was held in El Helicoide dungeons, where the moments when he managed to see his family were scarce, while he was confined in precarious conditions. Carlos Giraldo, his brother, reported that Juan was in a 3×3 cell shared with other young people, without ventilation or sunlight. “They only have one day to go out in the sun, on Thursday mornings, and three months ago that benefit was eliminated. Also we can only see him once a month”, he said.
Behind the bars, Juan Pablo began to suffer from severe otitis, without receiving the necessary medical attention to preserve his health. Being also of Colombian nationality, in September of 2017 he wrote a letter asking for the intercession of President Juan Manuel Santos in his case. “I’m losing hope of an early return home,” he wrote.
On June 1, 2018, the National Constituent Assembly granted Juan Pablo the measure of release under restrictive measures. Before leaving El Helicoide dungeons, he was forced to appear before the Truth Commission.