Venezuela: Trans Lawyer and Daughter Threatened By Police
Transgender lawyer Samantha Seijas was threatened by a police officer from the Aragua Police Force, in central Venezuela, while filing a complaint in a police station accompanied by his daughter. Fears exist for their safety.
On 31 January, after filing a complaint at a police station, transgender lawyer Samantha Seijas and his daughter Aleska Seijas were beaten in the head and face by police officers from the Police Force of Aragua, who uttered derogatory phrases such as “what happened to trying to act all manly?“ (¿no te la tiras de macho?), referring to his gender identity. He told Amnesty International that as well as beating them, one of the officers threatened Samantha by saying “pray to God that I don’t find you out alone at night“ (pídele a Dios que no te encuentre de noche sola por la calle). It is important to note that Samantha Seijas and his daughter live in front of the police station.
The day after these events, Samantha Seijas presented a complaint before the Public Prosecutor’s office. He is afraid that the proximity of the police station and by extension, the presence of the police officers from the Aragua Police Force, will lead to the threats being carried out.
To date, there have been no reports of an investigation having been initiated based on Samantha Seijas’ complaint.
Please send a letter, fax, and/or email without delay. (Postage is $2.50.)
* Express concern for the safety of Samantha Seijas and Aleska Seijas and urging the authorities to guarantee their safety in accordance with their wishes.
* Call on the authorities to initiate a comprehensive and impartial investigation into the reported attacks, to make the results public and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
Address your messages to
Dra. Luisa Ortega Díaz
Fiscalía General de la República
Avda. México, Manduca a Pelelojo,
Edif. Sede Fiscalía General de la República, La Candelaria
Fax: 011 58 212 509 8504
Salutation: Dear Attorney General / Señora Fiscal
Director General of the Aragua Police Force
Comisionado Jefe (PNB) Eulises Farias
Av Constitución Este, Sector San Jacinto, Código Postal 2102,
Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela
Tel: 011 58 243 671 8669
Salutation: Dear Commissioner / Comisionado
Dr. Tarek William Saab
Defensor del Pueblo
Av. Urdaneta - Frente a El Universal
Centro Financiero Latino, Piso 27
Fax: 011 58 212 5077025
Salutation: Dear Ombudsman / Señor Defensor
Please send a copy to
His Excellency Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernández
Ambassador for Venezuela
32 Range Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8J4
Fax: (613) 235-3205
The Aragua Police Force has a history of excessive use of force. In 2016 there were complaints of excessive use of force during demonstrations, such as in the case of Laura Lara, the victim of a brutal beating which was caught on video, carried out by various male police officers from the Aragua State Police Force, in central Venezuela. There have also been reports registered of harassment of LGBTI individuals in the past by this police force.
Among other complaints, there have been cases where police officers from the Aragua Police Force have been implicated in the harassment, threatening and murder of members of the Barrios family since 1998, confirmed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in their 2011 ruling. To date, the events have not been investigated, nor have the respective perpetrators been identified.
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