In Their Words: Speaking out Against Arbitrary Detention and Torture in Venezuela

In Their Words: Speaking out Against Arbitrary Detention and Torture in Venezuela

 at 1:00 pm
Virtual Event

Venezuela’s economic, humanitarian, and political crisis has taken a devastating toll on human rights. In 2021, Venezuela became the first country in the Americas to face a formal investigation by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity committed by government officials and pro-government individuals. The ongoing climate of repression, arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial execution has affected both Venezuelans and United States citizens.

Human rights groups estimate there are over 250 Venezuelan political prisoners today and at least four wrongfully detained Americans. With this in mind, addressing the human rights situation in Venezuela remains an urgent priority for the United States.

What is the human cost of this ongoing human rights crisis? How can the international community ensure the voices of wrongfully detained individuals and political prisoners are central to policy conversations about Venezuela?

Join the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center on Monday, June 5 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. ET to learn more about the reality of political and wrongfully detained prisoners on the ground. The first portion of the event will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET, featuring a conversation with a former Venezuelan political prisoner, a wrongfully detained US citizen, and a human rights expert. The second portion, from 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.ET, will invite in-person audience members to participate in an immersive virtual reality experience of El Helicoide, Venezuela’s infamous detention center where human rights groups have documented alarming abuses.


Matthew Heath
Security Analyst; Former wrongfully detained American in Venezuela

Victor Navarro
Human Rights activist; Former Venezuelan political prisoner

Tamara Taraciuk
Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program
Inter-American Dialogue

In conversation with

Carrie Filipetti
Executive Director
The Vandenberg Coalition

With remarks from

Geoff Ramsey
Senior Fellow, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council

Diego Area
Deputy Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council

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