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Celsa Bautista Ontiveros
Minister of Penitentiary Affairs
Ministerio del Poder Popular para Asuntos Penitenciarios,
Avenida Venezuela, Edificio Platinum, Urbanización El Rosal, Municipio Chacao,
I am deeply concerned over the health of Guillermo Zárraga, who is currently imprisoned at the Centro Penitenciario Región Capital Yare II, Venezuela. He remains unfairly detained since November 2020 and has since faced unfounded criminal charges.
Guillermo has endured inhumane prison conditions and authorities in charge of his personal integrity have unjustifiably and repeatedly neglected his health and wellbeing. Since his imprisonment, his family reports Guillermo’s weight has dropped over 20 kilos and is yet to receive adequate medical attention for the cardiac syncope and related injuries he suffered in March.
Moreover, Guillermo’s trial was mired by flaws in due process guarantees in violation of his right to a fair trial. Reports claim he was arrested and charged on false or non-existent evidence, denied access to trusted legal defense, and even coerced to admit to the alleged crimes he was accused of.
Guillermo should be released from his arbitrary detention, while he is in custody of the state, I call upon you to urgently ensure he receives immediate, adequate and trusted medical care. Guillermo’s life cannot continue to be at risk because of penitentiary authorities’ refusal to guarantee his right to decent prison conditions and personal integrity.