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Venezuela: the dramatic case of an army officer who ‘rots’ in the cellars of a prison

“He is pale, his skin and lips are dry,” Igor Marín, father of the lieutenant colonel, complains with concern. Igbert Marín Chaparro when he last saw him in Caracas on December 24 in the basements of the General Division of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) where for 17 days it maintained a dangerous hunger strike, which was only raised this Thursday due to the intervention of the United Nations.

The 43-year-old Venezuelan officer, born in Maracay and detained by the DGCIM on March 2, 2018 at his home for alleged “instigation of rebellion”, decided to protest against the regime of Nicolás Maduro with a hunger strike that undermined his state of health by lack of medical and legal attention.

On Thursday afternoon, Chaparro lifted his hunger strike, mediated by the UN, because the military authorities agreed to grant some demands of the political prisoner.

Igbert Marín is a lieutenant colonel in the Army with the highest score of his strength and of the entire Bolivarian National Force. He was commander of the most important Military Unit that is the Ayala Battalion of the capital region, he explains to Clarion the lawyer Juan Carlos Thula.

Marín Chaparro was accused of conspiring against the regime, according to an anonymous whistleblower. Photo: Courtesy Juan Carlos Thula

Marín Chaparro was accused of be conspiring against the regime, according to an anonymous whistleblower, for claiming the terrible conditions in which the military live in the barracks, says his lawyer Alonso Medina Roa.

The officer is part of the military, about 132 of the 262 political prisoners in global that counts the NGO Penal Forum, between civilians, military, women and minors, who are detained for thinking differently.

At his press conference called in Plaza Los Palos Grandes, both the defense attorneys and the officer’s father and family chorus in favor of his release due to the unjust and arbitrary detention. The father maintains that his son was “tortured”. She was also a victim of the “violation of due judicial process.”

“They allowed me to see it only 15 minutes at Christmas “, says with a halo of sadness Father Igor Marín when detailing that the physical state of his son was “Deteriorated and deteriorated” with so many days without eating.

“He is being held in the House of Dreams” as the DGCIM cells are called, says Igor Marín. “He is a political prisoner who decided to go on a hunger strike to protest against the injustice with which they have all been arrested political prisoners ”, he adds.

The lawyer Alonso Medina Rosa tells Clarion that “we are concerned about the prolonged hunger strike that has deteriorated his health and about the silence that the military institution has maintained.”


Igbert Marín was arrested along with 5 comrades in arms.  Photo: Courtesy Juan Carlos Thula

Igbert Marín was arrested along with 5 comrades in arms. Photo: Courtesy Juan Carlos Thula

When Igbert Marín was arrested together with 5 comrades in arms in 2018 a judicial process was followed in a military court that sentenced him to the maximum penalty of treason to the homeland without evidence.

“We appealed to the Court Martial, which annulled the trial and ordered a new public trial. However, the Criminal Chamber ex officio of the Supreme annulled the decision of the Martial Court and ordered that a hearing be held in the appeals court that after several months has not materialized, “said Medina Roa.

The lawyer says that “we are in judicial limbo”, we need Marín Chaparro to be transferred and treated at the Military Hospital because your health is in danger.

Caracas, special for Clarín



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