Former AQ Contributor Detained in Venezuela, Later Released


May 8, 2014


Diamanti, at left, in 2010.

Rodrigo Diamanti, the president of international human rights organization Un Mundo Sin Mordaza, was detained at the Maiquetía airport on May 7 by Venezuela’s Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (Bolivarian National Intelligence Service—SEBIN). Diamanti was a contributing author in Americas Quarterly’s Winter 2010 issue, “Voices from the New Generation.” He is presumed detained at Helicoide jail.

The previous week, unidentified members of SEBIN ransacked Un Mundo Sin Mordaza’s headquarters in Caracas, heightening Diamanti’s concerns that the organization was being targeted due to campaigns like “SOS Venezuela,” which is now active in 120 cities around the world.

Prominent members of the Venezuelan opposition mobilized on social media to denounce Diamanti’s detention.

Human Rights Watch issued a highly critical 103-page report of the human rights situation in Venezuela on May 5, prompting a U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations committee hearing on the subject.

UPDATE: On Friday, May 9, Diamanti was released from jail, but is prohibited from leaving Venezuela.

Read Diamanti’s article in the Winter 2010 issue of AQ here.

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