Marvinia Jiménez is the name of the woman who was assaulted by National Guard troops in Valencia in the video below:

Here is a picture of Marvinia trying to say something to the National Guard, shortly before the beating occurred:

And here is a picture of her making a statement before the media sometime after the beating:

Yesterday, an interview with her appeared in El Carabobeño, a big newspaper in Carabobo state. The article calls her “irrefutable evidence that in Venezuela human rights are not respected”. She works as a tailor in Valencia.

Marvinia said that she had taken part in the protests “because I am also a victim of the insecurity and scarcity the country suffers from”.

Here are some bits from the interview:

“The atmosphere was so strange that I decided to take a video with my cell phone. A humble Vergetario [an inexpensive phone designed by Vtelca, a state-owned telecommunication company] that my aunt let me borrow, since my Blackberry was stolen.”

At home, she finished [making] a dress and then heard explosions around La Olla street… so she decided to go back to her family in Sector 3. On the way, she met a National Guard truck that was shooting tear gas. She started to record while she was shouted at from the truck, “Bum! Lazy bum! Go home and make arepas [a Venezuelan staple dish]! Go find a husband!”. She also heard cat calls [from the truck]…

She continued down the middle of the avenue, recording how the guards shot [with guns] and teargas at the protesters, when she saw that three of them [holstered] their rifles and drew small pistols.

“I yelled, ‘Don’t kill your people!’ One of the guards tried to take the phone away from me but I threw it really far away and I don’t know who found it. At that moment a woman threw herself at me, but I thought it was a gorilla. While she beat me they held my arms back and handcuffed me. The woman in her insanity kept hitting me. Apparently she broke a nail when she was on the ground and that made her angry. She took off her helmet and started hitting me with it. I don’t remember how many [times I was hit], I thought I was going to faint because ever since I was born my left arm is always asleep, and I could feel my hand becoming numb. I yelled at her, ‘I’m handicapped, have mercy!’ She didn’t hear me. She scratched me, spat on me, kicked me, she hurt my neck, she bit me and she pulled my hair. I only heard her say, ‘Damn you! You broke my nail, my beautiful nail!’ She hit me with her helmet on my left cheek and my forehead. I have bruises on my face, inflammation everywhere, and bumps on my head. This was all documented because it was filmed [from some buildings]. What I remember from that moment is that another guard yelled, ‘Blondie, pound that dirty bum!’ Another one yelled, ‘Leave her alone, we’re being recorded!’ That’s when the woman came to her senses and grabbed my hear as you can see in the pictures…”

What happened after the beating?

“I thought I was going to be left alone. But the worst part hadn’t started. Handcuffed, I was placed on a motorcycle and the woman was still beating me. She said, ‘Damn you, you desgraciada [miserable wretch], you ruined my beautiful nails’. I was screaming, ‘My name is Marvinia Jiménez, I’m being arrested and I don’t know why!’ She tried to cover my mouth but I just ignored her.”

“I thought I was being taken to the National Guard Command Center at Coredos, but they kept going until we got to the Guardia del Pueblo [People’s Guard], across from the Metropolis mall. There, I was left with three other detainees who were not handcuffed. So I yelled and asked them to remove my handcuffs, that I needed a doctor, that I needed to call my brother Marvin Alejandro Jiménez, who is a lawyer. No one answered me. The same woman who handcuffed me then removed them, without first insisting that it was my fault that her beautiful nail was now broken.”

While at the detention center, Marvinia says that a “fat, short” guard approached her and said, “If you know how to read, you can see that these boots are a size 48, and I’m going to stomp your face with them, you dirty parasite.” She says that nothing ended up happening because other guards there restrained the one who threatened her.

She said it wasn’t until evening when she was taken by car to a doctor. Of the event, Marvinia says:

“In the car with me was Mr. Hector, who had also been beaten by the National Guard. He was vomiting blood and his shirt was destroyed. That’s why they gave him a shirt that was too small for him [so they could take pictures of him?]. After we were examined, we were taken to the headquarters at Policia de los Guayos where I slept on the floor.”

Her cellmates, some young women detained for drugs, helped her take shelter from the cold and shared some food they had been given with her.

“The next morning, a man appeared who said he was from the Defensoria del Pueblo [Public Defender’s Office]. He wanted me to sign a paper that said that I was in perfect health. I refused to sign it because I had a terrible headache because of the beating I had received. ‘That’s not my problem, because I’m here to certify that you’re fine’, [he said]. But he left without my signature.”

“I spent the second day without hearing from my family or receiving legal assistance. We slept again on the cold floor, using a curtain as a blanket. The next day I was taken to the Palacio de Justicia and I was able to see my family from far away. After, I was taken to the CICPC [Cuerpo de investigaciones cientificas, penales y criminalisticas – the Venezuelan criminal investigation body], near Plaza de los Toros.”

Marvinia, along with Mr. Hector, were eventually accused of theft. Marvinia said she’s never stolen anything in her life, so she thinks that a “chivo pesado” [a “big cheese’] faked the charges against them. Marvinia also says that she didn’t want to be formally accused of a crime she didn’t commit, but she was advised to go along with it in order to bring to light the corruption in the system.

The article says that Marvinia is also being accused of “crimes of resistance against authority, injuring a National Guard, property damage and instigating disobedience”, and that she’s getting a lot of legal help, but she concedes that in Venezuela, “everything is possible. Every time someone in the government says, ‘this person has to be imprisoned’, that person is imprisoned.”

One thought on “Updated Story: Marvinia Jiménez Interview

  1. Pingback: June 25: Defining Times | In Venezuela

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