• Urgent Action


May 3, 2024

Since February 2024, Juan Carlos Marrufo is enduring inhumane prison conditions in the Venezuelan prison, Rodeo I, and has been held in politically motivated arbitrary detention since March 2019. As well as subjecting him to isolation and lack of drinking water, the authorities deny him medical testing and treatment. María Auxiliadora Delgado, married to Juan Carlos and detained for over five years, requires immediate medical tests. Emirlendris Benitez, arbitrarily arrested in August 2018, suffers ailments resulting from the torture she was subjected to which require immediate surgery. We call on minister Celsa Bautista to ensure they receive medical attention immediately. 


take action:

  • Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  • Click here to let us know the actions you took on Fourth Urgent Action 96.23. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

contact information:

Celsa Bautista Ontiveros

Minister of Penitentiary Affairs 

Ministerio del Poder Popular para Asuntos Penitenciarios,

Avenida Venezuela, Edificio Platinum,

Urbanización El Rosal, Municipio Chacao,

Caracas Venezuela

Permanent Mission of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations

His Excellency Mr. Héctor Constant Rosales

335 East 46th Street

New York, NY 10017

Phone: (212) 557-2055

sample letter:

Dear Minister Celsa Bautista,

For months, authorities in Venezuela have withheld medical care for victims of politically arbitrary detention: Emirlendris Benítez, María Auxiliadora Delgado, and Juan Carlos Marrufo. Their safety and health cannot wait any longer and I urge you to ensure they receive immediate medical care and that their lives are safeguarded.

Emirlendris Benítez is serving an unfair 30-year prison sentence at the INOF center at Los Teques, Caracas, after being arbitrarily detained and subjected to torture in August 2018. María Auxiliadora is also in your custody at the same INOF center, having been detained since March 2019 together with her husband, Juan Carlos Marrufo. He is in your custody at the re-established Rodeo I prison.

Specifically, Emirlendris requires immediate surgery to treat the conditions derived from the torture and gender-based violence she endured after her unfair arrest. María Auxiliadora awaits medical imaging and testing that are needed to prevent and treat a life-threatening condition. Juan Carlos Marrufo, who was first arrested on March 19, 2019, together with his wife, María Auxiliadora, was unexpectedly transferred to Rodeo I prison in February. The conditions in this prison are extremely alarming and could amount to torture and other ill treatment.

Emirlendris Benítez, Juan Carlos Marrufo, and María Auxiliadora Delgado should be immediately and unconditionally released. Pending their releases, we urge you to urgently grant them access to trusted and adequate medical care, including urgent testing and treatment.

Yours sincerely, 

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