Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today in the afternoon, prominent opposition leaders like María Corina Machado, Antonio Ledezma, Richard Blanco and Delsa Solórzano took to Twitter to decry how political prisoners in El Helicoide, SEBIN’s infamous dungeon for political prisoners, were wounded and tortured by ordinary inmates.

The light was eventually cut off at El Helicoide, but a prisoner was able to contact his family and  declare to Efecto Cocuyo“The prisoners are afraid that this situation will continue inside the prison, because afterwards they’ll be unable to communicate what goes on inside SEBIN.”

At approximately 3:00 p.m., ambulances and GNB officers entered the premises. Two helicopters were also flying over the area.

Political prisoners made several concise demands:

  1. Immediate release for those prisoners with court mandated liberation;
  2. Court hearings for every political prisoner;
  3. Prisoners who are ill must be taken to hospitals;
  4. Visiting rights must be respected;
  5. Extortion must end;
  6. Underage prisoners must be freed;
  7. Political prisoners must be separated from ordinary inmates.

Efecto Cocuyo reports that the spark that lit the fire was when officers left a cell door open and ordinary prisoners attacked Gregory Sanabria, UNIMET student held since 2014. This is how Sanabria looks now:

These videos of political prisoners Daniel Ceballos, General Ángel Vivas and Lorent Saleh, among others, surfaced on social media in the afternoon:  

Joshua Holt, an American citizen and mormon missionary, has been held in El Helicoide for two years, under terrorism charges. According to Joshua Goodman of AP, Holt’s trial on weapons charges was scheduled to start Tuesday, May 15th, but he and his wife, Thamara Caleno, were never taken to court.

Today, he released this video…

…and the U.S. Embassy expressed its concern:

Venezuelan journalist Dereck Blanco, also reported:

At 7:00 p.m., Todd Robinson, chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy, was still in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, getting nothing but silence from the Venezuelan government.

After the prisoners demanded the presence of competent institutions to guarantee their safety, a delegation from the Prosecutor’s Office was denied entry:

It’ll take days before we can figure out what’s really happening, but we’ll be on alert as to what’s next in this rather odd turn of events.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.