The Maduro regime has formally requested the extradition of five individuals, all of whom it claims were involved in Saturday’s drone attack. The extradition request includes Julio Borges, the head of the Primero Justicia (PJ) opposition party, whom the regime accused yesterday of masterminding the attack.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza announced the extradition request in a televised address this afternoon after meeting with a Colombian representative in Caracas.
The names of the individuals that Venezuela wants extradited are:
- Oswaldo Valentin Garcia Palomo
- Gregorio Jose Yaguas Monjes
- Mauricio Jimenez Pinzon
- Gilbert Alberto Escalona Torrealba
- Julio Borges
All five individuals are Venezuelan nationals, except for Mauricio Pinzon.
Arreaza also said that he had asked the Colombian government for the “exact location” of the “Atlanta Ranch” in the Chinacota area of Colombia, which is where the Maduro regime claims the drone attack was planned.
The extradition request is an early test of the presidency of Ivan Duque, who was sworn in as Colombia’s president on Tuesday. Given the strained relationship between Maduro and Duque, Bogota is unlikely to consider the extradition request.
Rafaela Requesens: We Have Yet to See My Brother
Rafaela Requesens, the sister of National Assembly deputy Juan Requesens, told reporters today that the whereabouts of her brother are still unknown. Rafaela indicated that while she and her family believe that her brother is being held in the notorious El Helicoide prison, they have not seen him since he was arrested by regime forces on Tuesday.
During a televised speech, Maduro accused Requesens of being involved in Saturday’s drone attack. While Maduro made the accusations on television, agents with the regime’s political police–the SEBIN–arrested Requesens and his sister. Rafaela was released after a few hours in custody.
Rafaela said that she and her family have been going to El Helicoide all week, bringing food and clothing to the prison hoping that it will make its way to Requesens, whom they presume is inside. She said:
Yesterday, they [the SEBIN] let us sent in clothing and food. Today they [her family] went by to drop off breakfast, obviously in the hopes that they would pass it on to him. [We] also sent in a letter with the diet and the vitamins that he needs due to his operation.
El Helicoide is the most infamous of the regime’s prisons, and is now synonymous with the terror and repression with which Maduro rules Venezuela. Prisoners are routinely tortured and subjected to inhuman conditions in the prison, which has come to be known colloquially as “La Tumba” [“The Tomb”].
Jesuits Publish Map to Help Guide Venezuelan Migrants
The Jesuits’ Conference of Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL) have published a map packed with information to help Venezuelan migrants escape Venezuela, including the locations of border crossings, how much food costs in Latin American countries, as well as the networks’ telephone numbers.
The map, which the Jesuits have called “La Ruta” [“The Route”] traces migration paths from western Venezuela all the way south to Argentina, and in eastern Venezuela into Brazil.
Outlining both main and alternate routes through Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Brazil, the map also includes time estimates how how long it takes to cross each of the border crossings that it identifies, and how long it takes to travel by bus between each crossing.
The ongoing crisis in Venezuela is continuing to fuel the largest migratory exodus in the history of the continent. Far from affecting only the countries adjacent to Venezuela, the exodus is being felt all across Latin America. Just today, the government of Ecuador announced that in the last several days, the average number of Venezuelans entering the country hit 4,200 per day.
Bello Monte Morgue Workers on Strike
El Nacional is reporting today that workers at the Bello Monte morgue in Caracas are going on strike by stopping operations at the facility for eight hours per day. The protest is in response to “unjustified dismissals” of staff, corruption at the facility’s leadership, and poor working conditions.
According to the newspaper, workers have complained that they have not received the supplies that they need to carry out their work since March, and that as a result they have had to work in unsanitary conditions. The newspaper reports that one worker told a journalist that they have been ordered to switch to a new scalpel only after they have worked on ten bodies.
The Bello Monte morgue is the only such facility in all of Caracas.
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