Geraldine Chacón always wanted to defend other people. Aged nine, she dreamed of being a lawyer. At 14, she stood for her local youth government. And at university, she started a network of Amnesty International activists pushing for change. As her mum says, “Any injustice she saw, she fought against.”
This passion inspired her to work for an organisation which empowers young people in some of the poorest areas of Caracas, her home city. But then, in February 2018, this young, enthusiastic member of her community was arrested in her home by armed officials.
The authorities wrongly linked her with “resistance” groups they accused of organizing violent anti-government demonstrations. In fact, her persecution is part of a wider government crackdown on those who criticize the authorities and stand up for human rights during the current Venezuelan crisis.
After four months jailed in appalling conditions, Geraldine was conditionally released in June 2018. But she can’t leave the country and her case is still open – so she could be arrested again at any time for no reason. She and many peaceful activists here face daily intimidation, just for trying to make their country a better place.
Tell Venezuela to stop harassing Geraldine now.