Gilber Caro is a Venezuelan Member of the Parliament of the political party Voluntad Popular, who was arbitrarily detained and deprived of liberty under public accusations on 11 January 2016. Caro appeared before the courts after 4 months and 20 days of his detention. His lawyers have reported that he has been banned from visiting, that he has been subjected to isolation and that he has not received proper medical attention.
Gilber Caro was convicted for drug trafficking and homicide, so he was imprisoned in 1993. He went through several Venezuelan prisons and served 20 years in prison: 10 years behind bars and 10 years with filing system. In 2004, he received a procedural benefit and in 2013, he was fully released.
He was a member of the civil association, Liberados en Marcha (Released in March), in charge of the reeducation of inmates. Once released, he started his own foundation, Dale la Mano a tu Par (Give a Hand to Your Partner), and began his career as a social activist. In 2007, he started working at the Chacao Mayor's Office and in 2009 he joined the Voluntad Popular political party.
In December 2015, Caro was elected substitute Member of the Parliament for the Miranda state on behalf of the Voluntad Popular political party.
On 11 January 2017, Caro was deprived of liberty under public accusations of high authorities, disrespecting his parliamentary immunity.
On 14 January, more than 24 hours after his arrest, Gilber Caro had not had access to his lawyers or family members.
On 16 January, Gilber Caro's attorneys filed a habeas corpus before the Supreme Court of Justice.
Gilber Caro was transferred on 20 January to the Penitentiary 26 de Julio in Guárico state, without a court order, without having appeared before a competent court and, therefore, without a jail record.
Gilber Caro's lawyer was able to visit him for the first time on 23 January (12 days after his arrest), a meeting that did not last more than 20 minutes.
After 4 months and 20 days since his apprehension, on 1 June 2017, the arraignment of Gilber Caro was held before military courts. The investigation was ordered for the crimes of treason and subtraction of belongings of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tocuyito Prison, in the state of Carabobo (central region), was established as a place of confinement.
At the arraignment, Gilber Caro complained to the military judge in charge of his case that he was receiving only one meal a day.
Lawyers and relatives have informed Amnesty International that Caro has been isolated in the detention center where he is held for a large part of her detention.
On 11 September, he began a hunger strike, due to the lack of response from the authorities in the face of complaints about his conditions of imprisonment.
On 19 September, Caro's lawyers denounced that they, their relatives, as well as representatives of the Ombudsman's Office and the Attorney General's Office, had not been able to visit him since he began the hunger strike, in order to verify his health condition.
On the same day, his lawyers were able to visit Gilber Caro and confirmed that he had stopped the hunger strike. Caro had not received medical attention and the isolation persisted.
Despite concern for the personal integrity of Caro by lawyers and family, the Venezuelan authorities denied that he had started a hunger strike and also that he presented an urgent health condition.
On 11 January, 2018, Caro served one year of arbitrary detention. His preliminary hearing has been suspended at least 9 times.
Tags: Silenced by force, Arbitrary detentions, Venezuela, Human Rights.
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